• 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.




2019 June 17

18:24 USCG saves six people, tows disabled vessel in Port Etches
17:59 Denis Krylov appointed General Director of Gazpromneft-Sakhalin
17:28 China and South Korea agree on ballast water exchange rules
17:04 Mermaid Maritime borrows a loan of USD 65 mln to extend the financing of two vessels
16:41 Neptune Lines welcomes Neptune Galene & Neptune Thalassa after scrubber installation
16:23 DG Termināls invests about 1 million euros during the year
16:17 Finnish ferry getting a diesel-electrical drivetrain system
16:04 MSC Katya R. sets record as largest container ship to boost Costa Rican export links to Europe
15:45 Singapore to host 18th Vessel Efficiency & Fuel Management Summit
15:26 Onezhsky Shipyard launches multifunctional buoy tender for Volga-Baltic Basin
15:04 Hunter Group sells one vessel
14:42 Gdansk, Poland to host 6th Operating Specialist Wind Vessels Summit
14:19 Seatrade Europe conference programme to include Marine Interiors specialist panel discussions
14:12 ClassNK releases amendments to class rules
13:55 Finland hosts an EU–China maritime meeting
13:31 AWT completed stage III of modernization and expansion of the Paskov Terminal
13:24 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 16,007 in RF spot market
13:10 The Irish Port of Cork and Port of Amsterdam to collaborate
12:48 Pella Shipyard launches tugboat of project 90600, Sadko, built for Sevmash-Shelf (video)
12:31 Port of Oakland exports up 8.4 percent in May 2019
12:01 North Carolina Ports adopts Vortex port equipment simulator
11:30 MEYER WERFT announces the keel laying for the new cruise ship IONA
11:15 Throughput of port Shanghai (China) in Jan-May’19 declined by 1.3% to 225.91 million tonnes
11:00 Panama Canal issues proposal to modify tolls structure
10:59 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in Jan-May’2019 fell by 7.7% Y-o-Y to 19.79 million tonnes
10:37 Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard launches PPA “Paolo Thaon di Revel”
10:21 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
10:01 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.26% to $62.17, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.19% to $52.87
09:38 Port of Singapore throughput in Jan-May’2019 was nearly flat YoY at 261.39 million tonnes
09:19 Diana Shipping commences self tender offer to purchase up to 2,000,000 shares
09:16 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, June 17
09:10 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,085 points

2019 June 16

17:13 DC area agencies to conduct mass rescue exercise off National Harbor
16:05 Boskalis appointed as salvor for both damaged tankers in the Gulf of Oman
15:53 Fincantieri and Naval Group sign a joint venture agreement
13:47 Diana Shipping Inc. announces the sale of a Panamax dry bulk vessel, the MV Thetis
12:47 WSC unveils its hybrid patrol vessel at Seawork 2019
11:41 GasLog Partners LP announces new multi-year charter agreement with Gunvor

2019 June 15

15:44 Wight Shipyard rolls out its new windfarm support vessel concept at Seawork Int'l 2019
13:17 Malta Freeport hosts its first LNG-powered container ship
12:53 Petrobras closes the sale of TAG
11:41 USCG, local partners respond to sailing vessel aground off Magic Island
08:43 Vessel training simulation underway at Tema Port’s new Terminal 3

2019 June 14

18:05 Ole Martin Grimsrud appointed CFO of Aker Solutions
17:44 USCG Cordova FOL crew saves man stranded for three days on Montague Island
17:05 Knud E. Hansen wins two separate contracts for innovative large RoRo vessels
16:41 Hapag-Lloyd to increase rates from North East Asia to Australia
16:26 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port handled 90,300 tonnes of cargo in Jan-May’2019, down 38.7% Y-o-Y
16:05 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to South Africa
15:14 “K” Line receives recognition for vessel speed reduction programs in the West Coast of North America
15:00 UK maritime industry leaders debate decarbonization, digital technologies and the future of safety at the annual ABS UK National Committee meeting
14:00 China Railway Container Transport signs strategic cooperation agreement with SITC International Holdings
13:38 Container throughput of Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port in 5M’2019 up 39% YoY to 89,649 TEUs
13:09 Algoma increases its interest in in the CSL International Pool
12:41 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 19.77 million tonnes of cargo in 5M’2019, up 8.5% Y-o-Y
12:09 Global Ship Lease announces new charter agreements
11:32 Bunker prices continue going down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
11:09 ECSA issues statement on suspected attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman
10:51 France signs up to fishing vessel training treaty
10:30 Zhatai Shipyard to let build up to 10 river ships and scrap at least two ships per year