• 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 July 16

18:31 APL adds port calls to West Asia Express Service
18:16 Diana Shipping announces signing and drawdown of a US$75M Term Loan Facility with BNP Paribas
17:55 Director Kopczynska addresses WMU students and faculty on maritime Europe
17:40 Great Lakes announces receipt of $70 million San Jacinto award
17:33 Bollinger Shipyards commits USCG icebreaker program to Florida
17:31 New vehicle terminal announced at the Port of Southampton
17:18 Hapag-Lloyd hikes rates for East Asia-Arabian Gulf trade
17:08 ING Bank signed a USD 80 million syndicated loan agreement with NIBULON
16:43 Minimum training standards for fishers under review
16:25 USCG rescues 7 people from capsized boat near Horn Island
16:20 Port of Antwerp sets new records with best half year ever
15:56 Freeport of Riga showed good growth in the first half of 2018
15:32 Maersk Drilling secures two contract extensions in the North Sea
15:19 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 3.6% to 9.88 million TEUs in Jan-June’18
15:03 Van Oord will acquire MPI Offshore
14:44 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 17,589 in RF spot market
14:35 Wärtsilä to assist Transocean with thruster maintenance optimisation and dry-docking cost reductions
14:25 Jan De Nul Group acquires part of MPI’s offshore business unit
14:11 Fednav accepts delivery of MV Federal Dee, its 60th owned vessel
13:46 Eastern Shipbuilding inks contract with Bisso Offshore for RApport 2400 Ship Handling Tug duo
13:27 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company’s fleet is involved in a new international project
13:07 Court dismisses EUR 9 million claim against Armada Seismic Invest II AS
13:06 Hong Kong will host ShipTek Ship Owning & Ship Management Conference & Awards on 30 August 2018
12:48 Marine Recruiting Agency takes on a project of training crane specialists in Estonia
12:23 SEACOR Holdings announced that it favors a business combination of Dorian LPG LTD. and BW LPG Limited
12:02 IMO head highlights key maritime issues during trip to China
11:46 Rosmorport appoints Igor Glukhov as Deputy Director for Navigation Safety of its Far East Basin Branch
11:25 Fincantieri contracted to build LNG-fueled pair for TUI Cruises
11:01 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,666 points
10:44 Brent Crude futures price down 0.5% to $74.96, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.64% to $69.5
10:25 Mexico benefits from IMO training on port security
10:02 IMO held port emissions training for Argentina
09:52 CMA CGM's FAK rates for Asia to Red Sea trades
09:40 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in HI’18 up 1.7% Y-o-Y to 25.35 million tonnes
09:18 Port of Singapore throughput in HI’18 grew by 0.8% Y-o-Y to 312.79 million tonnes

2018 July 15

11:24 MAN Energy Solutions ready for SMM 2018
10:43 CMA CGM informs of FAK rates from the Indian Subcontinent to North Europe and the Mediterranean

2018 July 14

12:40 CMA CGM announces GRR for Far East to East Africa trade
11:41 ABP: Container terminal operation expansion to meet growing demand
10:14 Navtek selects Corvus Energy to provide battery for the world's first all-electric tug

2018 July 13

18:50 YILPORT Holding submits offer for Taranto Container Terminal concession
18:12 Metal Shark and ASV Global introduce “Sharktech” Autonomous Vessels
17:48 ABP: £2.7 million lock gate project secures future of Newport docks
17:16 Golar LNG Partners completed acquisition of equity interest in Golar Hilli, owner of FLNG Hilli Episeyo
16:48 Total closes acquisition of Engie’s upstream LNG business and becomes world No2 LNG player
16:36 Norwegian Cruise Line confirms options for two more Leonardo-class cruise ships
16:25 Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin visited SCF headquarters
15:59 Upgraded vessels of Project 14200 started navigation on passenger routes in Ob-Irtysh basin
15:33 Draft law on closed zones for dry bulk cargo transshipment submitted to State Duma (document)
15:12 Wärtsilä signs a EUR 170 million scrubber deal
14:37 Draft law on development of cruise tourism in Russia’s Arctic and Far East submitted to State Duma
14:24 Weatherdock AG offers fishing sector a solution to support the fight against IUU
13:49 Damen supporting European shipbuilding with NAVAIS coordination
13:11 USCG postpones underwater assessment of WWII tanker Coimbra
12:40 A £2.7 million lock gate project secures future of Newport Docks
12:11 Hapag-Lloyd to apply season surcharge for NEC to WCSA trade
11:49 London will host 9th Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response Conference on 12-13 September 2018
11:27 Hapag-Lloyd's PSS for North Europe - Caribbean, Central America trade
11:03 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 6M’18 up 9% Y-o-Y to 7.20 million tonnes
10:38 Brent Crude futures price down 0.24% to $74.27, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.07% to $70.38