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 THIRD QUARTER MEETING WITH PANAMA CANAL AUTHORITY
Oct 27 2015 4:55PM
During the third quarter meeting between Panama Canal Authority (PCA) and Panamanian Maritime Chamber, following subjects were treated: 1. Water Levels in Gatun Lake: A very dry summer is forecast. It is estimated that in the worst case scenario, as from February 2016 draft restriction measures could be implemented; if forecast are more favorable than expected (positive scenario), draft restriction could be implemented as from May 2016, the ideal scenario would be no restrictions at all, but the prognosis indicate more likely restrictive scenarios mentioned above which should last up to August 2016, in any of scenarios PCA will notice customers a month or a month and a half in advance. 2. Clear Channel Restrictions: Remain for NeoPanamax / Post Panamax. The optimal windows are between 1000hrs-1400hrs. At the moment they can still enter/exit at night, depending on traffic and visibility (Harbor Operations). 3. Medical evacuation: Non-Critical patients are still being evacuated to private ambulance service at the entrance to the locks. If critical case, the ambulance will make the trip to the hospital. 4. Bunker Delivery: Deliveries are taking place on a regular basis. At the moment there is no barge authorized to deliver bunkers in the outer anchorage. This is because suppliers cannot make the sale as “guarantee deliver”, since it is subject to rough weather affecting outside the break water. In near future could be possible to get permission from the ACP, but very possible that it require new barges to be purchased, always keeping in mind safety first. 5. New Regulations Booking & Reservation System: Proposal have been sent to higher authorities in the Panama Canal Administration for approval, full details of it reach are unknown at the moment, so we will have to wait for official release. 6. Proposed New Rates for Maritime Services: They shall be announced before the end of this year. 7. Form 1743: This is the pre arrival form prepare by PCA and sent to all Captains, due to file size it is expected to be canceled soon, despite this Panama Canal Authority suggested that ship-owners should increase reception capacity of files in ships e-mail system. 8. Dredging: Works shall commence in December 2015 for a period of two years, in order wide the Pacific Entrance of The Canal, allowing two Neo-Panamax vessels to meet/cross at Pacific Entrance of the Canal.


PANAMA CANAL HIGH CONGESTION EXPECTED & CONDITION 2 DUE TO LANE OUTAGE
Sep 17 2015 6:18PM
As we have advised previously on messages sent August 7th 2015 and August 26th 2015, high congestion was expected during this Period of the year. Well as an update on the Canal transit waiting time situation, please note that as of today (Sept. 17th), the transit waiting time for Supers transiting Northbound remains around 4 days and for Southbound direction in 1-2 days. Situation, mainly obeys to a larger amount of supers (beam over 91ft) arriving on the Pacific side. As a result of lane outage, already announce, from Sept 22nd until Sept 30th 2015, Panama Canal Authority informed as per attached advisory that during lane outage, condition 2 will be into effect due to reduced transit capacity, so amount of super vessels to be booked shall not exceed 10 vessels. Also, from Sept. 22nd to 30th, all dates already have 10 supers vessels booked, which were secured during 1st and 2nd periods respectively. This lane outage will take transit waiting time to high levels, especially in the already congested Northbound traffic, we foresee waiting time for vessels arriving Balboa on Sept. 20th – 24th on the region of 7 days waiting. Southbound traffic is foreseen to reach 4-5 days on said timeframe. Also, we expect that congestion tend to normalize around the first or second week of October 2015. In case you would like to secure and Slot during lane outage, could only be through auction which base bid is USD $ 35,000.00 and sky is the limit. Also, bids close at 13:30 hours LT two days before the date of required slot. Moreover, if your chartering departments are looking after a vessel, we suggest to let us know a tentative ETA immediately, even if voyage is not confirmed / secured, because it will be better to fabricate a visit for her on Canal system and avoid the possibility of short ETA penalization, a visit creation must comply with a 96hrs deadline from creation date to the arrival time. There are no more 2nd period slots available until Oct. 4th
PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION PROGRAM TESTING
Sep 8 2015 6:24PM
Kindly note here bellow information received from Panama Canal Authority regarding new locks development: Panama City, Panama, September 7, 2015 – Earlier in June, the filling of the new locks began, marking the start of a planned and methodical phase of operational testing of the Locks, including its culvert valves, maintenance bulkheads and gates. This stage of testing is meant to timely detect and correct any deficiencies in the project. The Panama Canal technical team is closely involved to ensure that all tests meet the quality standards established in the contract. As part of this testing, some water seepage was detected in a specific area of the new Pacific Locks in a section that separates the middle chamber and lower chamber, as they were being stressed tested through exposure to level differentials much higher than those required for normal operations, but that may occur during dry-chamber maintenance works in the future. The ACP is now awaiting a formal report from GUPC following detailed inspections. The report, will be inclusive of the root cause analysis conducted, as well as the recommended repair methodology. Upon evaluating the report’s findings, the ACP will assess and communicate if the project’s completion timeline will be altered in any way. At this time, ACP has designated two independent external structural engineers to conduct an objective evaluation of the reasons for this localized issue and assess GUPC’s solution. While this important step takes place, the ACP is encouraged by the overall progress of the program, which has now reached 93 percent completion. Parallel work presses ahead with testing in other areas; the removal of the strip of land - known as a ‘plug’- separating the new Cocolí Locks from the Pacific Ocean, and the culmination of the Pacific Access Channel work. Likewise last week the removal of the dike or plug that separates the Atlantic ocean waters from the new Atlantic Lock was initiated and progresses at a good pace. GUPC has the obligation to ensure the long-term performance on all aspects of the construction of the locks and to correct this deficiency. Moreover, GUPC’s contract with the ACP dictates that the group is responsible for modifications and corrections that may be required. As with all of its operations and its infrastructure improvement projects, the ACP is committed to deliver world-class services and products. As it has been the case for more than 100 years, the ACP maintains its commitment to safe, reliable and efficient service. Updates will continue to be issued as information becomes available to ensure that customers, the Panamanian people and all other key stakeholders are informed on the latest developments of the program. As many of you have read in the newspapers, 34 samples of concrete at the affected Lock (Cocoli in Pacific Side) were taken and one of them presented very irregular concrete structure (see picture attached), despite this Panama Canal Authorities still believe that new locks will be ready for commercial transits as from April 2016, anyhow this will be confirmed after GUPC (contractor) provide its inform and correction methods to fix the failure(s), as stayed above in official communication from the Authority.
EXPECTED HIGHT CONGESTION DURING SEPTEMBER 2015
Aug 26 2015 9:37AM
Kindly note that today´s waiting time for north bound transit is 3-4 days for super vessels (beam equal or over 91 feet), 2-3 days for regular vessels (beam under 91 feet) and for south bound transit is 3 days for supers and 2 days for regulars. Also, we have seen a great number of vessels announced to arrive on September 7th and many of them already booked as well, at the moment only one slot available for supers vessel in second period for September 7th 2015, in our opinion this clearly shows that owners/operators are already preparing to cross Panama Canal before September 8th when draft restrictions measures get in force. Furthermore, based on this scenario we believe that waiting time could increase one or two day mores than actual, so if you have vessels expecting to arrive for transit as from September 1st 2015 we recommend to evaluate the possibility to pre-book for transit in second period, usually during this high congestion times in third period will apply operators with better customer ranking than yours, thus your possibilities to obtain an slot in third period are very low. Just for your guidance we have attached available slots list updated today at 08:20 LT and August 2015 customer ranking. Moreover, high congestion situation may be repeated by the end of the month, as previously advised, ACP has scheduled a Lane Outage of 9 days since September 22nd until September 30th 2015, that will reduce canal operational capacity to 22-24 transits per day (instead of the 35-40 Transits/day in normal conditions).
OFFICIAL INFORMATION -PANAMA CANAL’S PACIFIC LOCKS SPRING LEAK
Aug 25 2015 6:42PM
As you may read in various newspaper during Saturday 22nd videos and pictures of some leaks in Cocoli Locks (Pacific side) were filtered to international press, this could have caused some uncertainty to international world regarding Panama Canal new locks readiness for April 2016. In order to provide you with official information we seek for it and were able to obtain from Panama Canal following: “Earlier in June, the filling of the new locks began, signaling the start of a deliberate and methodical phase of operational testing. This stage of testing is meant to detect and correct any imperfection. As part of this testing, some water-filtration issues were detected in a specific area of the new Cocoli Locks, located on the Pacific side of the waterway. The imperfection was detected in the step that divides the middle chamber of the locks from the lower chamber, known as lockhead The Panama Canal technical team is closely involved to ensure that these tests meet all quality standards and is working with Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A., the contractor for the Third Set of Locks project, to resolve this issue. At this time and based on preliminary evaluations, the project’s completion timeline as well as the expected date for commercial operation are not expected to change. GUPC has the obligation to ensure the long-term performance on all aspects of the construction of the locks and to correct this issue. Moreover, GUPC’s contract with the ACP dictates that the group is responsible for modifications and corrections. As mentioned, during this testing phase, the Panama Canal technical team is closely involved to ensure that the work meets the quality standards stipulated in the contract. As with all of its operations and enhancement projects, the ACP is committed to deliver world-class service and products.”
SECOND DRAFT RESTRICTION POSTPONED
Aug 21 2015 11:07PM
As it was announced in Advisory to shipping No A-24-2015 another draft restriction (down to 38.5 feet) was going to be in effect as from September 15th, 2015, but due to rainfall in Panama Canal watershed the past few days Panama Canal Authority has decided to postpone this second restriction. However, the first maximum draft restriction (11.89m/39.0 feet TFW) will remain in effect as from September 8th 2015. Also, Vessels arriving after this date with draft over 11.89m TFW may be allowed to transit depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake. In case level of Gatun lake continue to drop and additional draft restrictions become necessary, they will be announced at least four weeks in advance.
PANAMA CANAL DRAFT RESTRICTIONTO 11.89 METERS (39.0 FEETS)
Aug 7 2015 11:26PM
As we previously informed draft restriction measures could be taken soon due to “El Niño” phenomenon, well today Panama Canal authority issued attached Advisory to Shipping N° A-24-2015, which states that as from September 8th 2015, maximum draft allowed for transit Panama Canal will be 11.89 meters TFW (39.0 feets), this restriction must be comply by any vessel that loaded cargo after August 11, 2015. And in case a vessel has loaded the cargo before August 11, 2015 and its draft be over 11.89 but under 12.04 meters TFW, will be waived for transit, subject to safety considerations. Also, it is very possible that maximum authorized draft may be further restricted to 11.73 meters (38.5 feets) TFW as from September 15, 2015 as if this takes place vessels that load after August 18, 2015 will have to fully comply this measure; in contrast, to vessels that loaded before August 18, 2015 actual measures shall apply. Moreover, implementation of this measure will be advised at least 4 weeks in advance. We believe that as a result of this measure, ACP officers will be even more exhaustive during vessel inspections to be sure that vessels are fully complying with new restriction. Furthermore, ACP has scheduled a Lane Outage of 9 days since September 22nd until September 30th 2015, that will reduce canal operational capacity to 22-24 transits per day (instead of the 35-40 Transits/day in normal conditions). Actually arrivals are around 25-35 per day and actual waiting time around 2-3 for NB and 2 days for SB , so if days before the lane outage and during lane outage itself the situation is similar to today's, waiting time can increase 2-3 additional days and as you know this will make very difficult to pre-book in third period so as from next week we recommend you to keep in close contact with us in order to check new information/situation and slots available for second period in order to minimize risks
PANAMA CANAL LOCKS LANE OUTAGE FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 7 2015
Aug 5 2015 3:32PM
Please be informed that today Panama Canal Authority has issue attached Advisory to Shipping N° A-22-2015 regarding lane outage in the West Lane of Gatun Locks, from 00:01 until 12:00 on August 7th, 2015. During this outage condition 1.a will be in effect (according Ops Notice N° N-7-2015) which reduces maximum quantity of transits from 35 or more per day (normal condition) to a maximum of 29-34 transits per day. Also total slots available for pre-booking will be reduced: Supers only 13 instead of 17 (normal condition) and Regulars only 6 instead of 8 (normal conditions) Actually waiting time for NB & SB transits are around 3 days, so if any of your vessels is planning to arrive between August 6th and 8th you should consider pre-booking since delay could be closer to 3-4 days instead of 2-3 days.
PROJECTED POSSIBLE DRAFT RESTRICTIONS DUE TO "EL NIÑO" PHENOMENON
Aug 3 2015 5:56PM
As we previously informed since July 3rd 2015 Panama Canal Authority has taken water conservation measures due to “El Niño” Phenomenon, but as rains has kept below expected levels for this season of the year, today they has issued attached advisory which basically states that in case draft restrictions will be adopted, it will of about 15 centimeters (six inches) and will be announced at least five weeks in advance. Also, Vessels already loaded to the prevailing draft limitation at the time of promulgation of the new draft restriction will be waived for transit, always subject to overriding safety considerations. Vessels loaded on or after the date of promulgation of a new draft restriction shall comply with that restriction or may be required to trim or off-load cargo, depending on the level of Gatun lake at the time of arrival. Canal officials will do everything possible to eliminate those restrictions at the earliest opportunity. Finally, if additional information is require, just let us know so we can forward your questions to Panama Canal Authority.
PROJECTED POSSIBLE DRAFT RESTRICTIONS DUE TO "EL NIÑO" PHENOMENON
Aug 1 2015 3:13PM
As we previously informed since July 3rd 2015 Panama Canal Authority has taken water conservation measures due to “El Niño” Phenomenon, but as rains has kept below expected levels for this season of the year, today they has issued attached advisory which basically states that in case draft restrictions will be adopted, it will of about 15 centimeters (six inches) and will be announced at least five weeks in advance. Also, Vessels already loaded to the prevailing draft limitation at the time of promulgation of the new draft restriction will be waived for transit, always subject to overriding safety considerations. Vessels loaded on or after the date of promulgation of a new draft restriction shall comply with that restriction or may be required to trim or off-load cargo, depending on the level of Gatun lake at the time of arrival. Canal officials will do everything possible to eliminate those restrictions at the earliest opportunity. Finally, if additional information is require, just let us know so we can forward your questions to Panama Canal Authority.
PRELIMINARY TESTS OF COCOLI LOCK GATES SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED
Jul 30 2015 6:05PM
As it has been informed by Panama Canal Authority in its today edition of the Canal Connection that the Panama Canal Expansion continues to make steady progress, currently 91% complete. After an initial testing phase where the lower chamber of the new locks were filled, preliminary test of gates 7 & 8 of the Cocoli locks on the southern end were executed successfully. The gates, the largest in this lock complex and located at the lowest level, are required to open and close within a span of 4 to 5 minutes to meet the established standards. To ensure these are meet the canal employs a specialized control system with sensors to monitor and regulate the speed of each gate. “The Testing phase is one of the most important steps toward the Expansion´s completion” said Panama Canal Administrator Mr. Jorge L. Quijano. “It enables us to ensure we are offering the same level of operational excellence with this new lane that our customers have come to expect from the Canal.” The successful test of these gates allows the Panama Canal to now conduct leak test. Upon completion of this process, the project will proceed with testing the valves that control the water flow between the chambers of the new locks.
PANAMA CANAL WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES N°2
Jul 23 2015 4:17PM
As previously informed on July 3rd 2015 Panama Canal issued attached advisory that describes water conservation measures that are in effect since then. As some time has passed since this advisory and no official information has been released and taking into consideration how important is for you to be timely informed of any change in max restrictions to transit Panama Canal, we started a campaign to get official information, which we finally got from ACP Operations Manager which advised the following: “The problem we face this year (which has been defined as "Niño" year ) is not that it is not raining , but the rains are significantly below normal in the Canal watershed . It means, that the contribution of water to Canal watershed have been insufficient in Gatun & Alajuela lakes, as result lakes water levers are below optimum levels for this time of year. As the ADV19-2015 states, these measures will be maintained until expected levels are reached. Regarding words of the Canal Administrator, it refers that if lake levels continue decreasing, the Authority must impose draft restrictions. If this situation occur we would be notifying customers through ADVISORY duly in advance . These draft restrictions would be similar to the '98 event , which max draft allowed was reduced by 6 inches (15 cm ) , and will be announced duly time to customers.” So at the moment there are no draft restrictions as a result of “El Niño” phenomenon, but if lakes waters levels continue to decrease, they could take place but this will be announced in duly time to customers. Also we have attached advisory previously sent with our operational point of view of this water conservation measures.
PANAMA CANAL WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
Jul 3 2015 6:46PM
Further to message “Advisory to Shipping/ADV19-2015/Implementation of Water Conservation Measures”, previously sent we can tell that we have seen similar measures taking place previously in Canal waters. The most dramatic was back on the late 90s where draft reductions came into effect, but based on experience we can tell that Panama Canal Authority will always warn timely if such action will be implemented. Other important statement to read on this recent communication is the fact that by maximizing the tamdem lockages, the large carriers restricted to full daylight (CCDL) and that are not pre-booked, could be affected by being superseded by smaller vessels that arrive even after the restricted carrier, we have seen this practice when the Canal aims to reduce the remaining backlog after a lane outage or similar. The recommendation on this case will be to pre-book this type of vessels in order to avoid the possibility of losing an extra day or two
PANAMA CANAL "NEW LOCKS GATES TEST"
Jul 1 2015 7:21PM
The consortium “Grupo Unidos por el Canal” (GUPC) began, on today’s noon, Wednesday July 1, 2015, movement tests of the first gate of the new Pacific locks. Nine days ago the same testing process began in the lower chamber of the Atlantic Gate lock. This gate is 58 meters long, 10 meters wide and 33 meters high, weighing about 4000 tons dry, its weight decreases approximately 300 tons when submerged. "Once completed all the preparations for the mechanical, electrical and control systems, GUPC will proceed slowly move the gate, before moving on to testing speed project," said GUPC. The gates should take about five minutes to open or close, but the first test movement in the Atlantic took an hour. "After filling the chambers, it now gives way to a new phase of the work where the implementation of the first gate is another very important step. The movement tests to the first gate of the Atlantic sector have been very satisfactory and Now let's proceed with the first side of the Pacific, "said Giuseppe Quarta, director of GUPC. This process must be repeated with the rest of the gates, until culminating flood reaching the level of Gatun Lake. Once that level is achieved, will come the rest of the operating and commissioning of the third set of locks tests. As we have been advising during the last month, Panama Canal Authority advised that new locks shall commence commercial operations as from April 1st 2016 Source: “La Prensa”, Panamanian Newspaper
SCHEDULED LANE OUTAGE AT GATUN LOCKS (EAST LANE)
Jun 22 2015 1:23PM
Please be informed that as from 00:01 hour of Friday, June 26th 2015 (24 hours), the EAST lane of Gatun Locks will be out of service for emergency repairs to the lower pintle of Miter Gate 22. As per Panama Canal information, this outage is required to ensure safe lockage operations to all the users. As a result of the above, and in accordance with the rules governing Transit Reservation System (OP’s Notice to Shipping No. N-7-2015, available at: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/op/notices/2015/N07-2015.pdf), CONDITION 2 will be in effect as from June 26th 2015. This condition basically states that there will be only one Just In Time (JIT) slot per direction available for supers (beam over 91 fts.) during this pre-booking period. The JIT slots available for regular vessels transiting without restrictions, as well as the booking slot available through the Auction Process, and the Slots Available for Regular Vessels less than 300 feet in LOA, will continue to be offered during this period. At the moment, waiting time for North Bound transit for Supers is 72 hrs and for Regulars 48 hours, for today arrivals are 34 and transits 33 but it is expected that arrivals increase up to 44 in the next three days and transits up to 40 per day in same period, if arrivals remain the same waiting time in both directions may increase. We will keep you updated.
PANAMA CANAL FILLING THE LOCKS COMPLEX
Jun 11 2015 12:00AM
The Panama Canal Expansion Program is currently 89.8 percent complete, with Atlantic site recording the most significant progress. According to the project schedule, the filling process of the new locks on the Atlantic side will begin today June 11th 2015 and proceed with the trial period. The filling of the chambers will require the use of freshwater from Gatun Lake and will take place in several stages over three to four months. As part of the first phase, the lower chamber will receive about 50 thousand cubic meters of water per hour. The flooding of the locks will be conducted in phases, chamber by chamber. The tests will confirm that each gate valve and their respective electromechanical systems are functioning correctly. Source: The Canal Connection, issued by Strategic Relations Management Section of the Panama Canal Authority
PANAMA CANAL 2016, TOLLS
Jun 9 2015 12:00AM
During April 2015 Panamanian government approved new Tolls for Panama Canal Transit that will be valid as from April 1st 2016 the complete document with new applicable tolls is available at: http://www.pancanal.com/peajes/pdf/propuesta-peajes-2015.pdf Also, Panama Canal authority in effort to facilitate transition to new tolls structures has made available on its website guidelines for the calculation of the new tolls (visit: http://www.pancanal.com/peajes/). These tools includes examples by market segment; guidelines for the implementation of loyalty program for full container vessels; and a “Toll estimator”, in order to obtain an estimate of the tolls to be paid by any given vessel (visit: https://peajes.panama-canal.com/ppal.aspx) Actually, expansion works are about 90% completed and main milestones remaining to complete are flooding of new locks and transit tests by Panama Canal authority which are expected to take place by fourth quarter 2015, if all remain according the plan new locks shall be open to all vessels by April 2016.
PANAMA CANAL ADMINISTRATOR MEETS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF SHIPPING AND THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION
Jan 3 2013 5:32AM
Panama City, Panama, December 13, 2012 - As part of the ongoing conversations with the shipping industry, a Panama Canal Authority (ACP) delegation headed by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano met with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), a global organization that looks after the interests of ship owners and operators, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). "These face-to-face meetings are part of the permanent dialogue that the Panama Canal holds with its customers to get feedback on their needs, as well as keep them up to date on what is happening at the waterway," said Quijano. During these meetings, Canal officials presented a progress report on the waterway's Expansion Program and the requirements for new Panamax vessels to transit the new lane once it is completed, including a conceptual framework to change the waterway's toll structure after 2014. The Expansion Program will allow the Canal to remain competitive and viable for Panama and the international maritime community in the long term.
CANAL BUDGET - 2013
Jul 31 2012 6:00PM
The proposed 2013 budget was presented to the Cabinet by the administrator showing a direct contribution to the Republic of Panama of USD 960.5 million and an indirect 177.9 million USD This figure indicates an increased income to the state of 9.8 million dollars without taking in to consideration the propose toll increase that is likely to come in to effect October 2012. Once the budget is approved by the cabinet it is forwarded to the National assembly for discussion and final approval.. AH
CANAL EXPANSION
Jul 10 2012 1:00PM
A milestone was reached last week when the first of 46 "monoliths" was in place on the Pacific locks. This is one of the sections that divides the construction of the lock walls and is built with the use of more than 200 tons of steel rebars and 2500 cubic metres of cement AH
RELATED TO NEW TOLL PROPOSAL...
Jul 4 2012 1:00PM
New Segments The revised proposal increases the number of segments from eight to ten by Panama Canal vessel type. It also breaks down the tanker segment into three distinct segments and incorporates the roll-on/roll-off vessels into the vehicle carrier segment. Once approved, the Panama Canal market segmentation scheme will include the following segments: full container, reefer, dry bulk, passenger, vehicle carrier and ro-ro, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, general cargo and others. Price Proposal Effective October 1, 2012 and October 1, 2013, respectively, the ACP proposes to increase the tolls for the following segments: general cargo, dry bulk, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, vehicle carrier and ro-ro, and the segment known as others. The remaining segments -container, reefer and passenger - will not be adjusted at this time, nor will the price per TEU for containers carried onboard a vessel. Additionally, there will be changes to tolls applicable to small vessels based on vessel length, to incorporate adjustments not previously considered.
PROPOSAL TO INCREASE TOLLS
Jun 27 2012 3:00PM
Advisory to shipping number A15-2012 issued today announces a modification of the proposal to increase the canal tolls. This modification sets the proposed implementation dates for October 1st 2012 and October 1st 2013 with an additional consultation period is in effect through July 12th 2012. The full memorandum is available at www.pancanal.com/peajes AH
BALBOA DRY DOCK CONCESSION
Jun 27 2012 9:00AM
The consortium of MEC and other financial organisations have been granted the concession to operate the Balboa dry dock for a period of twenty years based on a payment of 99.1 million USD. Three other offers were rejected based on their failure to meet the required "scores" in the tender process. It is anticipated that the facility will be operational again in two or three months .
PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION AT FORTY PERCENTPROGRESS
Jun 19 2012 4:03PM
After five years working, atthe end of May 2012, the expansion program had reached 40% progress, informed the Panama Canal Authority. The third set of locks design and construction project, main contract for the program developing the partnership Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) has a 26% progress. "Last Friday on the Pacific locks, we installed the last block that takes the first locks monolithe to its major elevation of 28.7 meters over the sea level" informed Jorge Luis Quijano, Executive VP of Engineering and Program Administration of the Panama Canal Authority
PANAMA CANAL PILOTS UNION MAKES INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATION
Jun 19 2012 8:42AM
A recent edition of the Journal of Commerce Online announced that the Panama Canal Pilots Union was accepted by unanimous vote to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The vote took place at the International Union's 35th Annual Convention.
INCREASED CONTAINER MOVEMENT IN PORTS
Jun 18 2012 10:25AM
The movement of TEUS's or containers of 20 feet in length, increased 21% during the first quarter of this year, according to preliminary figures from the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP). This is 1,796,000 TEUS's moved in the entire port system of the country between January and March, or a variation of 315,241 more than in the first quarter of 2011
NEW CUSTOMS RULES
Jun 18 2012 12:00AM
A new procedure has been introduced by the local customs authorities. As a result of this, the time frame for clearance and delivery of shipments intended for vessels in transit has increased considerably. Suggestions are that shipments be made a minimum of one week in advance of a vessels arrival as we must now allow at least 48 hrs for collection, clearance and delivery. Obviously, earlier shipment would be an advantage to avoid missing the intended vessel.
NEW CHARGE ON LANDING CARDS UPDATE
Jun 16 2012 12:00AM
The Panamanian Immigration department are implementing a law that has been in effect for many years but has not been acted upon. All crewmembers coming ashore are required to hold a landing card (which we supply and have supplied in the past), however, there is now A five dollar charge for each card.
INCREASED SECURITY FEES
Jun 12 2012 3:00PM
Part of the modifications to the canal rates (currently under review by the Canal Administration/Panama Legislators) includes an increase in the security fees which do not require the legal approval from the Panamanian Government. Consequently, the new security fees will be in effect as of July 1st 2012 and for all vessels (including yachts) less than 3000 PCUMS tonnage it will be invoiced at USD 300.00. For vessels exceeding that tonnage the charge is USD 1000.00
PANAMA PLANS CARGO-BASED TOLLS
Mar 21 2012 12:00AM
WHEN the Panama Canal expands in 2014, the new toll structure could be increasingly based on cargo carried, not vessel tonnage. “Everybody is asking what the tolls are going to be,” Panama Canal Authority (ACP) vice president Rodolfo Sabonge told the Connecticut Maritime Association conference today. “We have been discussing this with the industry and have visited some of our major clients in the past few months.” “One of the things we want to do is look at rates that have more to do with what cargo is actually carried aboard the vessel, versus charging for capacity," he said, explaining that the goal is to align future tolls with how ship operators earn revenue. Last year, the ACP enacted a new toll structure for container ships that put the majority of the rate increase on loaded containers, providing a cost break for empties-laden backhauls. Sabonge stated that what is now being discussed for the post-expansion toll structure is a broadening of this concept to the other vessel types. In addition, the toll concept now in place for container ships could be further enhanced. He said that a decision on the new toll structure would be announced in 2013. Sabonge also addressed concerns that US East Coast ports will not be ready for the larger ships in 2014. He told Fairplay that liner customers have informed the ACP that they will still bring the larger ships through the expanded canal, and then tranship in the Caribbean if the US East Coast ports are not ready.
CANAL ADMINISTRATOR TO RETIRE
Mar 15 2012 1:00PM
Effective September 2012, Canal Adninistrator Mr Alberto Aleman will relinquish his position which will be filled by Mr Jorge Quijano a long standing employee of the canal company with vast experience throughout the operations.