• 2018 April 17 13:20

    The Panama Canal “adrift” due to safety concerns

    The NeoPanama locks in the Panama Canal have been surrounded by safety concerns since before the opening, ITF said in its press release.

    A study commissioned by the ITF in 2016 provided an early alert to the Panama Canal Authorities that the operations had more risks than initially considered. The study also provided some suggested solutions on how to minimise the risks which would have prevented some of the incidents that have occurred if the Authorities had been willing to engage with the unions and ITF.

    On the operational and labour relations side, the situation is more complex. “The move from the Canal Authorities to reduce the manning on the tugboats and thereby reducing the Canal’s costs since the construction costs vastly exceeded the initial estimates is too simplistic and only gives a short-term financial gain while the most important element appears to be overlooked or ignored, namely safety of the workers and the safe transit of the vessels and its crew” says Nick Bramley Chair of the ITF Inland Navigation Section.

    “The NeoPanamax vessels have a single set of locks for the crossing which means that an accident or an incident that obstructs the Canal would in fact stop the crossing schedule of all NeoPanamax vessels” says David Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Section.

    The sudden and unilateral decision from the Canal to reduce the manning was not raised or discussed with the crew. Also the new safety operations procedures came unexpectedly. ITF affiliates representing workers in the Canal have informed the ITF that they have requested meetings with the Canal Authorities numerous times in order to have a constructive discussion about the situation and how the Canal can operate safely, effectively and efficiently, but the PCA have consistently ignored or refused to enter into dialogue with the unions and the workers.

    The situation between the PCA and the Tugboat Captains’ Union (UCOC) is worsening day by day. The PCA has threatened with dismissals of around ten (10) Tugboat Captains that are refusing to perform operations they consider unsafe. At the same time, the Canal is demanding two passages of the new locks without a forward tug.

    The lack of focus on safety has already resulted in one casualty and a number of incidents, including collisions that in one case an investigation by the USA National Transportation Safety Board (following a collision between the Panama canal tug Cerro Santiago and the US Coast Guard cutter Tampa) indicated excessive working hours and fatigue as one of major the causes.




2018 December 15

16:23 MOL Passenger Line receives award for outstanding performance in 'Cruise of the Year 2018'
14:53 CMA CGM to implement GRR for India East Coast-West Africa trade
13:51 CMA CGM announces LSS on services from / to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
12:44 NYK Cruises receives Grand Prix Award for 2018 World Cruise
11:27 TT-Line places order for RoPax "green" ferry with China's Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard

2018 December 14

18:17 Hapag-Lloyd to increase rates from East Asia to Mexico, Central America, West Coast of South America, Caribbean & Panama
17:48 Petersburg Oil Terminal puts into operation its emergency response team
17:33 Vinalines to open container shipping centre next week
17:30 Fairway adjustment will simplify Elbe traffic control already next year
17:27 Final cruise ship for the year calls to the Port of Gothenburg
17:23 The MV Magda joins the Klaveness Bulkhandling pool
17:16 India’s containerised export up 10% in the third quarter of 2018
17:13 FSL Trust announces newbuilding agreement for the construction of two LR2 product tankers
17:13 Havyard project with Havila Kystruten on hydrogen-powered coastal route operations to receive over NOK 100 million in funding from Pilot-E
16:24 World Fuel Services expands bunker operations in US leading up to 2020
15:57 IMO held training workshops in Cameroon Single Window for Foreign Trade Transactions
14:49 Onezhsky Shipyard lays down self-propelled hopper barge of Project HB600
14:08 Irish Continental Group plc takes delivery of cruise ferry W.B.Yeats
13:55 WMU takes part in Ocean Literacy Conference
13:31 First in industry ADNOC co-loads LPG and propylene onto same vessel in Ruwais
13:10 WMU hosted round table discussion regarding key challenges facing IMO
12:53 Bunker market at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia shows mixed price movements (graph)
12:32 Nordic American Offshore secures contract for its PSV NAO Viking
12:11 Rosrybolovstvo supports 2nd Dredging and Hydraulic Engineering Structures Congress
11:50 Association of Commercial Sea Ports celebrates its 30th anniversary
11:24 Gazprom and Itochu sign MoU under Baltic LNG project
11:06 Scorpio Bulkers announces time charter-out agreement
10:48 Domestic ferry safety exercise conducted in Indonesia
10:25 IMO holds training for managing insecurity in west Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden
10:06 EC adds six new yards to its ‘European List of ship recycling facilities’
09:47 Brent Crude futures price down 0.61% to $61.05, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.4% to $52.37
09:25 GTT notified by HSHI for the tank design of two new LNG carriers for CMM
09:18 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,365 points
08:06 Fincantieri publishes its Sustainability Plan 2018-2022
07:14 Port of Long Beach cargo volume up to 621,835 TEU in November 2018
06:09 Mitsubishi Shipbuilding holds christening ceremony for LPG carrier "LAUREL PRIME"

2018 December 13

18:43 Coal exports via Rosterminalugol hit 19-millionth tonne mark
18:28 Port of Kaliningrad throughput in Jan-Nov rose 4% to nearly 13 million tonnes
18:25 Tideway completes installation of longest AC offshore wind export cable at Hornsea One in the UK
17:49 Hapag-Lloyd to cancel calls at Port of Bremerhaven
17:25 Building of Johan Sverdrup Phase II begins
17:19 Port of Vyborg 11-month cargo volumes soar 24% to 1.72 million tonnes
17:13 Seabridge first in Belgium to receive the SCA certificate
17:08 Jan De Nul cleans up polluted beaches along the coast in southern France
17:07 Bunker fuel prices at Far Eastern ports close the week lower
17:00 Murmansk Region will improve water safety regulations – Marina Kovtun
16:47 Port of Vysotsk cargo volume in Jan-Nov rises 6% to 16.86 million tonnes
16:36 Maersk Broker Bulk Chartering and NAODAN Chartering
16:30 Murmansk Region Governor is a member of revised State Commission for Arctic Development Issues
16:26 YILPORT Holding wins Port Operator Award at Lloyd’s List Global Awards
16:03 Rosmorport releases RFPs for design of an DF 12/14MW icebreaker
15:49 Jotun and Kansai Paint build relationship to meet marine and protective demand
15:46 Baltic Sea Ports Authority icebreakers assist merchant vessels in the Gulf of Finland
15:21 Containerships receives its first LNG-powered container vessel
14:44 Uncertainty lingers in fuel markets despite OPEC cuts
14:17 Maersk Line receives Containership Operator of the Year award
14:13 Iran-Indonesia to develop port cooperation
13:22 NOIA: U.S. territories need the Offshore Wind for Territories Act
13:12 QPS inks first "Green Loan" with BNP Paribas
12:48 Panama Canal signs agreement with Brazil's Port of Itaqui