• 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 August 24

14:42 Eastern Shipbuilding delivers the CAPT. JIM McALLISTER with a USCG Sub-M COI to McAllister Towing
13:26 Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale yields more than $159m in high bids, continues Upward Trend Under Trump Administration USDoI
11:38 Grieg Star takes delivery Supramax vessel the Star Damon
10:58 DNV GL launches renewables certification operations in U.S.

2019 August 23

18:36 Bridge parts transported for second Theemsweg route bridge
18:06 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to East and South Africa, Indian Ocean
17:55 Onezhsky Shipyard launches TSHD Yury Maslyukov
17:36 First CLEANBU wet-dry cargo switch with significant positive environmental impact
17:20 Atomflot and Baltiysky Zavod sign agreement on construction of fourth and fifth nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220
17:05 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Middle East Gulf
16:45 MPI Resolution started blade repair campaign in offshore wind farm
16:35 PIL’s fleet attains Environmental Ship Index (ESI) certification
16:05 Botlek becomes Vopak's styrene hub
15:44 First-of-a-kind floating nuclear power unit Akademik Lomonosov leaves Murmansk for Pevek
15:23 CMA CGM will not use the Northern Sea Route
15:17 Vessel powered by ABB Azipod® propulsion reaches North Pole for the first time in history
15:13 NOVATEK’s Board recommends 1H 2019 dividend
14:47 PGNiG Group posts more than PLN 22.6bn in revenue for H1 2019
14:16 BC Ferries supports whale research at Galiano Island
13:52 Marsden Point, New Zealand tops BIMCO Terminal Vetting Report
13:29 Missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov entered Mediterranean Sea
13:08 Boskalis half year result 2019 tainted by offshore projects
12:34 Sevastopol Sea Port to be subsidized with RUB 54 million by municipal government
12:08 Bibby HydroMap commences second UXO survey for Vattenfall
11:40 Tests of unique replenishment system of Akademik Pashin tanker successfully completed
11:08 DP World Liège Container Terminal boosts eco-efficiency with Konecranes
10:55 Eesti Energia to use Klaipėda LNG terminal services
10:26 Hamburg, Germany to host 15th Arctic Shipping Summit on 4-5 December 2019
10:07 Bridge parts transported for second Theemsweg route bridge
09:53 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.1% to $55.98, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.01% to $55.35
09:34 Bunker market sees mixed price movements at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,118 points
09:07 Damen wins UX Design Award for Human Machine Interface for Tugs
08:35 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning August, 23
08:07 World’s largest all-electric ferry completes its maiden trip

2019 August 22

18:04 Australian Maritime College and KONGSBERG eye potential for VR training with renewed support program
17:39 Nordic Engineering sponsors roundtable meeting “Import Substitution in Russian Shipbuilding: Ambition and Reality”
17:04 DOF Subsea issues Financial Report for 2nd quarter of 2019
16:47 Karelia proposed construction of deep-water freight and passenger port Kem’
16:25 Bunker prices go down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
16:04 Navios Acquisition reports results for H1 2019
15:53 PJSC TransContainer reports its Financial Results under IFRS for 6M'2019
15:12 ReCAAP ISC has released Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah
15:04 Essar Ports expects to meet 60 MT target for FY20
14:31 Höegh LNG announces interim results for the quarter and half year ended 30 June 2019
14:14 Peel Ports takes important step towards being Brexit ready
13:56 Yamal LNG shipped twenty million tons
13:35 Arctic block of Far East Investment and Export Agency headed by Dmitry Fishkin
13:13 Sea Machines successfully deploys industry’s first autonomous spill-response vessel
12:28 Fire onboard MV Pyotr Tchaikovsky kills one in Saint-Petersburg
12:13 Frontera Offshore and DOF Subsea join forces for the Subsea Construction and IMR Mexican market
11:31 Kalmar to enhance STS crane capabilities at EUROGATE Tanger
11:21 HELCOM publishes report on noise sensitivity of animals in the Baltic Sea
10:59 HELCOM gets a new Executive Secretary
10:35 Caterpillar Eurasia and Admiral Makarov University agreed on establishing a brand new up-to-date training center
10:10 Steps towards new treaty to protect marine biodiversity
09:38 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.41% to $60.04, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.38% to $55.47
09:20 Hapag-Lloyd announces changes of North Europe Mediterranean Express Service
09:13 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,061 points
08:44 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 22