• 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 September 21

18:06 Forth Ports wins prestigious award for community work
17:44 NCSP Group's cargo turnover for January–July 2018 totaled 82,351 thousand tons
17:28 First ISO-container ever loaded with liquefied natural gas at the LNG terminal in Świnoujście
17:06 Gibdock, RSP Systems and New Zealand fisheries choose LR
16:31 Outlook for marine cargo insurance challenging but opportunities remain for underwriters, says IUMI
16:04 Babcock ecoSMRT receives LR acknowledgement for ship application
15:09 Trafigura holds naming ceremony for first of 35 newbuild crude oil and product tankers
14:56 IBIA takes part in SIBCON 2018
14:27 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches Pola Fiva, fifth dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59 built for Pola Rise
14:09 British International Freight Association fumes over sulphur surcharge
13:52 Ukraine’s water transport carried 0.5 million passengers in 8M’18, up 10.5%, Y-o-Y
13:31 Maersk’s regional carriers go to market under one brand
13:09 GE Shipping takes delivery of Secondhand Very Large Gas Carrier “ Jag Vasant ”
12:50 ABP aims for frictionless trade with blockchain
12:28 Cargo transportation by Ukraine’s water transport declined by 1.9% to 3.6 million tonnes in 8M’18
12:09 COSCO SHIPPING Tanker (Dalian) takes delivery of 319,000 dwt Mt Cosnew Lake
11:07 Odfjell finalizes sale of Rotterdam tank terminal
10:36 ABP promotes South Wales ports as cruise destinations
10:07 Georgia Ports plan 8 million TEU capacity by 2028
09:54 Brent Crude futures price up 0.06% to $78.75, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.14% to $70.22
09:35 Bunker prices are going up at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,396 points
09:03 APL’s Eagle Express service makes a solution for precise logistics management
08:07 Yang Ming to upgrade China-Vietnam-Thailand service
07:20 Iskes Towage names twin Damen ASD Tugs 3212 Mars and Mercurius

2018 September 20

21:17 Expert says production declines and geopolitical unrest may push bunker prices up
18:02 SITC holds naming & delivery ceremony for M/V “SITC TOYOHASHI”
17:54 Sovcomflot participates in Eastern Economic Forum’s business programme
17:30 Kurt Bodewig appointed as new European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea
17:07 Port of Singapore holds annual multi-agency ferry emergency exercise
16:46 IAPH regional conference sets pan-African ports agenda
16:25 UAE to host Dubai Marine Insurance Conference 2018 on November 20-21
16:07 Governments of New Zealand and Australian announce fumigation requirement for import cargos
15:48 Sovcomflot is a Partner of the Second Conference “LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia”
15:32 NYK product tanker rescues 28 fishermen off the coast of Colombia
15:04 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to West Africa
14:56 Admiralteiskie Verfi launches the Kronshtadt, diesel-electric submarine of Project 677
14:32 DNV GL releases autonomous and remotely operated ship guideline (UPDATE)
14:04 Port of Long Beach awarded $4.2 mln security grant
13:32 ABS supports innovative yacht design with dedicated guidance notes and software
13:20 Finnish Transport Agency: international seaborne transport volumes show significant boost
13:04 Port of Antwerp works on structural solutions to improve mobility
12:43 Arctic group of RF Navy’s Northern Fleet enters Chukchi Sea through Bering Strait
12:30 Wison receives AiP from LR for 300MW FSRP
12:04 Port of Rotterdam and Rönesans Holding sign agreement for petrochemical industrial zone in Turkey
11:49 IMO to start consideration of legal framework for low-flashpoint diesel
11:30 Gulftainer signs 50-year, $600 million concession to operate and expand Port of Wilmington in Delaware, USA
11:18 Fuel oil prices are going up the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:04 Green Corridor JIP delivers innovative bulk carrier designs for a low emissions future
10:55 IMO takes important step to facilitate use of methanol
10:30 HHI receives AiP from LR for a VLGC design capable of using LPG as fuel
10:19 Brent Crude futures price up 0.3% to $79.64, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.61% to $71.2
10:03 OpenIJ starts sinking operation of the lock gate chamber at the Port of Amsterdam
09:50 Passenger Port of Saint-Petersburg ("Marine Façade") welcomed MSC Meraviglia
09:34 CMA CGM announces GRR from India to East Africa
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,373 points
09:03 Port of Rotterdam organises information meeting about the replacement of Maaskade quay wall
08:34 DNV GL launches revised design standard and new certification guideline for floating wind turbines
08:04 ABS issues AIP for Jiangnan’s LNG Jumbo

2018 September 19

18:10 Significant reserve growth confirmed at the Utrenneye field