Trucking Components and Operations

Restrictions

Restrictions regarding the time when certain trucks can circulate by the freeway Arraiján-La Chorrera- Vía Centenario in accordance with the resolution  No. OAL 345 and OAL 346 of the Transit and Land Transportation Authority (ATTT).

In the Casco Antiguo, the circulation of heavy vehicles is also restricted. In accordance with Executive Decree No. 51 of 2004. The articles with reference to the cargo vehicles are:

  • Art. 64 "The circulation of vehicles of more than 7 tons and with dimensions greater than seven (7) meters long, two (2) meters wide and two point seventy-five (2.75) meters high inside is strictly forbidden of the area of the Casco Antiguo".
  • Art 65 "The operations of loading and unloading of goods can only be done from 9 AM to 11 AM and from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the places that the National Directorate of Historical Heritage of the INAC has for this".

 

Weights and Dimensions

The Law 10 (Ley 10 de 24 de enero de 1989) regulates weights and dimension of trucks moving loads in public ways. The main regulations the law points out are:

  • Every vehicle that uses 6 wheels or more wheels, or special characteristics of dimensions or weight should carry the “Weigh and dimensions” permit.
  • The “Weigh and dimensions” permit is issued by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Obras Publicas). The permit should always be in the truck.
  • It is not allowed that the load surpasses more than a meter lengthwise behind or in front the vehicle. The load should have red flags at its extremes when surpasses the vehicle dimensions.
  • Special permits will be defined by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Obras Publicas). And follow other certain constraints. These special permits are related to oversized and over weighted freight.
  • Vehicles from Central America entering the country should also stick to this law.

The following table shows the maximum lengths and weights allowed to transit around Panama:

Stations

There are establishes 7 weigh and dimensions stations to verify that the trucks are in compliance with the law.

The weigh and dimensions stations main function is to make sure that the law is being followed. The truck drivers have to show their driver license, truck permit, and then the truck is weighted. The weigh and dimensions stations locations are shown in the following picture.

Location of weight stations

  1. Paso Canoas, Chiriquí
  2. Gualaca, Chiriquí
  3. El Embalsadero, Veraguas
  4. El Roble, Coclé
  5. El Espinal, Los Santos
  6. Chepo, Panamá
  7. Agua fría, Darién

Weigh stations 1, 2 and 4 are the ones that register the trucks leaving from Panama City going to the rest of Central America. All of the stations are situated along the Pan-American Highway.  

Fuel

One of the main aspects to take in consideration in the rate is “fuel”. According to Technical Note 511 of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), fuel consumption directly affects operating costs. Therefore, the price of diesel is important because it is the fuel most used in the road freight transportation.

Price per gallon of diesel fuel in Central America to the final consumer

 

Source: Comité de Cooperación de Hidrocarburos de América Central (CCHAC)

Among the Central American countries, Panama is the cheapest country in terms of fuel, according to SIECA.  The low price of diesel in Panama comparing it to other countries in Central America is due to low taxes and global position.