• 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 April 22

15:33 Port of Rotterdam Authority to realise tide pools along Calandkanaal
15:32 British Ports Association raise border facilities' concerns with PM
15:31 Hapag-Lloyd to revise the Fuel Surcharge for Inland Haulage under Carrier arrangement from Germany to Belgium and Netherlands
15:30 JAXPORT names Interim Chief Financial Officer
15:28 Seaspan announces senior management change

2018 April 21

15:06 MV Thuringia makes maiden CI3 service call at Chennai International Terminals
15:04 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Arethusa with Glencore
15:00 Gothenburg Port Authority publishes Sustainability Report for 2017
14:47 Wärtsilä welcomes global shipping’s agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions
14:45 Vopak to invest in new storage capacity at its Rotterdam terminal

2018 April 20

18:15 Yaroslavsky Shipyard launches yet another boom-laying boat (photo)
18:03 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to Middle East Gulf
17:47 President of Cyprus visits IMO
17:29 NOVATEK’s AGM approves 2017 dividends
17:03 SEA\LNG reiterates LNG’s central role in meeting IMO’s decarbonisation goals
16:40 SCF Group’s financing deal with VTB Bank recognized by Marine Money as a Deal of The Year
16:03 CMA CGM announces an agreement to acquire a stake in CEVA
15:36 Nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk passed control check for winter training period
15:03 MEPC 72: Proposal to mandate ISO sulphur test methods to be discussed further
14:40 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches Russia’s first dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59 (photo)
14:24 HELCOM group meets in Berlin to focus on reducing land-based pollution affecting the Baltic Sea
13:38 WMU supports IMO climate change strategy for shipping
13:02 Panama Canal transits three LNG vessels in one day
12:43 Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Crane to handle bulk materials in Rotterdam
11:49 2 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on April 19-20
11:26 "Safety Day" held for Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company management
11:02 Navigation on rivers and canals of Saint-Petersburg opens from April 20
10:38 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and Russian Maritime Register of Shipping discuss cooperation
10:13 Brent Crude futures price down 0.26% to $73.59, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.31% to $68.08
09:55 Marine Technics supplied a set of engines to refit gensets of vessels operating on the Yenisei river
09:34 Bunker prices are going up at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,201 points
08:07 Chairman of IACS pinpoints three key themes of the Association's strategy for the future
07:45 The Fjords takes delivery of groundbreaking zero emission vessel Future of The Fjords

2018 April 19

19:00 Okskaya Sudoverf launches lead shallow-draft tank barge of Project ROB20, Belmax 1 (photo)
18:05 Vroon's MPI Napoleon commences Baltic-Sea charter
17:05 Diana Shipping announces continuation of time charter contract and a new time charter contract with Cargill
16:39 Admiralteiskie Verfi and Roshydromet sign contract for designing and construction of North Pole ice-resistant platform (photo, graphics)
16:05 CMA CGM to apply GRI from Canada to Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent
15:15 MEYER WERFT announces delivery of cruise ship Norwegian Bliss
14:33 Maersk delivers new block train solution on Standard Gauge Railway
14:11 Global bunker market: the state of volatility remains, expert says
14:03 Samskip starts new service from Poland, Lithuania and Norway
13:20 Bibby Offshore becomes the first to deploy a pioneering diving safety system in the North Sea
13:17 Damen Dredging Equipment launches new DOP Dredger Series
13:11 Draft rules for collection of port investment due is available for public discussion (document)
12:52 Wärtsilä to provide optimised maintenance for a complete fuel gas handling system for Viking
12:08 6th Forum of Intermodal Transport FRACHT 2018 held in Gdańsk on 11-12 April
11:13 Port of Rotterdam: growth in container throughput continues in first quarter
10:49 Port of Riga introduces new cargo handling technologies
10:15 Experts forecast Russia's LNG exports to make 33 to 62 million tonnes by 2030
09:52 Brent Crude futures price up 0.6% to $73.92, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.55% to $68.85
09:34 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,124 points
09:24 APM Terminals launches integrated cold chain solutions in India
09:17 Bunker prices show no significant changes at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)

2018 April 18

18:26 Engine room fire on board Finlandia Seaways quickly under control
18:05 Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles offer seed money to foster the development of new goods-movement technologies that improve air quality
17:47 Port of Rotterdam Authority launches new Pronto application
17:25 CMA CGM implements FAK rates from East Mediterranean ports to Gulf and Red Sea
16:55 Royal IHC announces successful launching of BONNY RIVER in China