• 2024 May 29 10:02

    The Panama Canal expects up to 32 ships to cross daily as of June 1st

    The rainy season officially started for the Panama Canal on May 7, which has begun to be reflected little by little in the level of lakes Gatún and Alajuela. The serious drought, a product of the El Niño phenomenon, forced the interoceanic waterway to apply drastic measures to face an unprecedented situation until 2023, reducing the daily traffic of ships to only allow, at one time, the passage of 24 ships. 

    The Panama Canal has welcomed more ships per day in May, signaling a slow return to normalcy for the waterway and a wider sigh of relief for shippers hoping for an end to transit restrictions that have been in place since last summer. 

    According to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), as many as 32 ships will be allowed to reserve a spot to sail through the waterway by June based on the present and projected level of the manmade Gatún Lake, which was heavily impacted by a months-long drought during Panama’s May-to-November rainy season last year. 

    Clarksons Research said in analysis earlier this month that total transits in the canal are still down by 30 percent compared to a year prior. Under normal circumstances, 36 to 38 vessels are allowed to be booked to transit the Panama Canal per day. With the country’s dry season coming to an end this month, the ACP has already been easing restrictions that were originally put in place throughout the second half of 2023, most recently increasing the number of daily reservations allowed from 24 to 27. With the completion of the maintenance, this number increased again to 31 per day across both the original Panamax locks (24 vessels) and the newer Neopanamax locks (seven vessels). Additionally, an extra slot will open in the Neopanamax locks starting June 1, with crossings expected to remain at 32 per day until further notice.
    The Panamax locks enable passage of smaller ships up to 966 feet long, while larger ships that fit the Neopanamax locks have a maximum length of 1,215 feet. Beyond the transit bookings, the ACP is also easing draft restrictions for Neopanamax ships, adding one foot back to the current maximum depth allowed of 44 feet. Effective June 15, the maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be 45 feet. The draft for Panamax ships remains unchanged at a maximum depth of 39.5 feet. By June 16, the ACP expects the Panamax draft to remain the same, while it anticipates lifting the depth restrictions again to 46 feet for Neopanamax ships. Official water levels at Gatún Lake were 80.3 feet deep, 2.6 feet shallower than the 82.9 average in April over the five previous years. This represents a significant closing in the gap from the 5.5-foot average differential in January, when water levels were 81.4 feet deep compared to the usual average of 86.9 feet. The restrictions implemented last year amid the low water levels appear to have worked, cutting down total canal waters time from 66.5 hours on average in August to 20.7 hours in March. Canal waters time is the average time it takes a vessel to transit the canal, including waiting time for passage. Without accounting for the wait, average in-transit times dropped from 11.4 hours to 9.4 hours.
    And while the Panama Canal Authority reported as many as 161 vessels queued up to transit the waterway as of Aug. 10—accounting for both those who booked a reservation and those without an appointment—that number has fallen off drastically. Due to the prior booking slot restrictions amid the drought conditions, the ACP also is amending one more policy by giving temporary priority to Panamax passenger vessels who are planning on booking 90 days ahead of Oct. 1. 

    Although conditions have improved, the country’s government wants to ensure a repeat of last year’s events doesn’t occur. In March, Panama’s Council of Ministers unveiled the creation of Multimodal Dry Canal project in an effort to speed up the movement of goods through the isthmus and improve clearance times. 

    As part of the project, the country would integrate existing roads, railways, port facilities, airports, logistics warehouses and duty-free zones to create a new special customs jurisdiction to provide a dry route as an alternative to the roughly 50-mile waterway. Maersk debuted a similar “land bridge” service to kick off 2024, bypassing the canal on one of its trade routes amid the shipping delays posed by the transit restrictions. 

    As part of the service, the company would split its Oceania-to-the-Americas route into two loops on each side of the canal, where cargo would be dropped off at a port before being transported to the other side via rail and picked up by a ship. The container shipping giant recently announced as of mid-May it would restore traditional transit through the canal, eliminating the need to move containers via the land bridge.

2024 June 19

18:17 Wärtsilä propulsion solutions expected to deliver 5% fuel savings for International Seaways tankers
17:42 TGS market overview report: Strong expectations continue in offshore wind despite short-term downgrades
17:09 Vestas receives 577 MW order in Australia for second stage of the 1.3 GW Golden Plains wind project
16:37 Wintershall Dea makes discovery in Cuvette exploration well
16:07 Equinor expands renewables portfolio in Poland with a new solar plant
15:52 Shell signs agreement to acquire Pavilion Energy
15:19 LR releases its 3rd alternative fuels report concerning LPG as marine fuel
14:39 Greek-owned Liberian-flagged ship hit in Red Sea sinks
14:32 Samsung Heavy Industries unveils revolutionary K-PAW welding technology
13:51 DOF awards new Constructor Compact ROV systems contract to Kystdesign
13:47 Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fueled RORO cargo ships
13:28 Sirius Shipping to charter out its new tanker duo to Preem for transportation of renewable fuels, feedstock
12:39 Chartwell and Vard to advance new SOV design working with North Star
11:23 Wartsila launches world’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant
11:14 Industrial-scale floating green ammonia plant project enters next phase
10:06 ABP signs MOU with Marine Power Systems to advance floating offshore wind technology
09:44 Port of Antwerp Bruges: Deurganckdok oil spill clean-up completed

2024 June 18

18:13 Atlantic Towing and Svitzer modernise Halifax port fleet with new escort tugboats
17:38 Port of Long Beach sets $760 million annual budget
17:28 Unifeeder and MPC Container Ships announce a new collaboration to make joint investments into Energy Efficiency Technology
17:16 Port of Koper welcomes Astrid Maersk, the world’s second large green methanol-enabled vessel
16:43 Gasum plans a large-scale biogas plant in Sweden
16:15 GONDAN Shipbuilders secures 31-meters passenger catamaran contract from Líneas Romero
15:39 CMA CGM to strengthen its INDAMEX service connecting Indian Subcontinent with US East Coast
15:11 Maersk wins a heavy lift contract from Vestas
14:07 South Korea bolsters shipbuilding industry with $10.75 billion financial support
13:41 MOL joins SFC focused on decarbonizing international logistics
13:11 Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines joins the ISWAN
12:22 Carnival Corporation celebrates shore power launch at PortMiami after exceeding industry-leading milestone
11:45 Nel ASA set to become a fully dedicated electrolyser company
11:24 Temasek signs agreement to divest Pavilion Energy
11:13 IMO's NCSR agreeds pilot transfer arrangements and amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23
10:47 LR awards Quoceant an IECRE Feasibility Statement for the Q-Connect
10:31 DNV: Global grid infrastructure to double by 2050 to meet surging electricity demand
09:43 Tarntank orders tenth hybrid chemical tanker

2024 June 17

18:16 Philippine supply ship bumped Chinese ship
17:49 Survitec secures JMSDF submarine escape suit contract
17:36 First mega cruise ship built for short cruises delivered to Royal Caribbean
17:14 Petroleum chemical product carriers drive order performance of Korea shipbuilding industry
16:37 MPA: Joint oil spill clean-up operations advance to next phase
16:23 Greek shipowners start investing in large new ships to transport ammonia
15:42 BV awards AiP to Antwerp-based Seafar for its remote vessel operation technology
14:31 USACE continues maintenance dredging at Markland Locks
14:29 Green Marine UK partners with C-Power to advance autonomous offshore power systems
13:17 Van Oord releases statement concering collision Vox Maxima with bunker vessel
12:04 Green Marine and Ocean Kinetics form JV Partnership to decomission OpenHydro tidal turbine in Scotland
11:52 ClassNK releases 2nd Edition “FAQs on the FuelEU Maritime”
11:07 Allision of dredger Vox Maxima was caused by a sudden loss in engine and steering control, MPA investigation showed
10:28 Sweden-Belgium Green Shipping Corridor expands ambition for the world's first green ammonia shipping corridor and welcomes new partner
09:23 APM Terminals calls first movers to join Innovators Program to enhance visibility and reliability for customers
09:11 Georgia Ports Authority sees 22% container growth

2024 June 16

16:18 Diana Shipping Inc. announces time charter contract for m/v Myrsini with Cobelfret S.A.
15:16 MPA: Joint oil spill clean-up operations in Singapore continue
14:27 Watershed moment for AMSA’s future maintenance on aids to navigation
14:07 Mammoet awarded construction upgrade of Hawaii dry dock
13:54 CMA CGM announces update on its IEX 2 service
12:31 Jan De Nul order first plug-in hybrid dredging vessel
10:26 Solstad announces contract extension for its CSV duo by Subsea 7

2024 June 15

14:15 VARD hosts a christening ceremony for third VARD 8 02 design stern trawler
12:03 TECO 2030, BLOM Maritime and Samskip receive ENOVA grant to retrofit Samskip LNG Vessel with fuel cells and hydrogen fuel
10:06 The 3rd of 12 plug-in hybrid vessel joins Swedish shortsea operator's fleet
09:51 S&P Global: Guangdong province's market-based power subsidy supports gas demand growth

2024 June 14

18:09 Strategic R&D alliance formed to standardize materials for LH2 carriers
17:44 BSEE conducts first offshore wind turbine inspection
17:23 Aker Artic completes ice-going SOV concept for offshore wind farms
17:19 Orsted completes construction of combined wind and solar project in Texas
16:57 MPA: Oil spill clean-up in progress at Pasir Panjang Terminal
15:37 ADNOC awards $5.5 billion of contracts for Ruwais LNG plant
15:11 Allseas awarded Troll extension pipeline
14:26 Havila Shipping inks deals for its three PSVs with Equinor