• 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 August 22

10:30 Maersk Line revises Export Service in India for all cargo
10:13 Bunker prices in St. Petersburg remain flat from previous week
10:09 ICTSI supports infra projects in Ecuador
09:15 Liebherr and PortNews arrange an excursion to Port of Hamburg and Liebherr facility at SMM 2018
09:08 Atlantic RoRo Carriers makes its first vessel call at The Port of Philadelphia
08:35 Maersk Line introduces digital rate distribution solution

2018 August 21

18:28 JMS-designed RV Virginia is launched, to be delivered to VIMS
18:11 UCL Ports’ Multipurpose Reloading Complex invests heavily in development
18:02 Railway to Sabetta to be built on a concession basis, regional official says
17:24 Ukrainian seaports see a 2.5% decline in Jan-Jul cargo volumes, to 73.9 million tonnes
17:12 Equinor extends contract with Prosafe for Safe Boreas
16:16 M/V RK-19 drydocking and refit begins at Delo Group’s Aleksino Port Marina Shiprepair Yard
16:12 V.Group launches project ‘Embark’ to transform crewing
15:31 Team Tankers reports Q2 net income of $4.4 million
15:11 MOL announces additional investment in PKT Logistics Group, Malaysia
14:47 Kenia Port Authority takes delivery of new 75bp tugboat Eugene
14:31 GasLog inks new charter agreements, orders LNG carrier duo
13:38 All-Russian Aquarobotech 2018 marine robotics competition kicks off in Vladivostok
13:08 Fangcun Port in China to close effective 1st October 2018
13:02 Ministry of Natural Resources offers to set up the NSR development project office
12:24 Far East ports bunker prices open the week on a bearish note
12:08 CMA CGM announces PSS from Asia, India, the Middle East and America to Nigeria
11:21 OSCE mission barred from access to the Russian flagged tanker detained in Kherson port
11:13 Wärtsilä to build Smart Technology Hub, next-generation innovation and production centre in Finland
11:08 MSC slows ships to help protect whales in U.S. waters
10:41 Baltic Dry Index adds 4 pts to 1727 points
10:28 Port of Long Beach box volume rose 11.3% in Jan-Jul to 4.64 million TEUs
10:17 Crude oil futures gain slightly to $72.23 in London and to $65.53 in New York
10:08 HELCOM publishes report on sewage port reception facilities in the Baltic Sea
09:29 Port of Los Angeles seven-month container volumes down 2.59% to 5.14 million TEUs
09:08 Port of Long Beach approves Toyota's Green Terminal makeover
08:26 Crowley successfully supports Appomattox platform tow-out in the U.S. Gulf

2018 August 20

18:26 Okskaya Sudoverf Shipyard delivers sixth serial oil barge BELMAX 6 of ROB20 design
18:06 Dan-Bunkering expands and merges with Australian company
17:36 Carbon Trust and Fistuca announce successful execution of offshore test of innovative new installation technology
17:26 Russian owners, operators stop shipping to Ukraine for fear of loosing cargo
17:09 ESL Shipping takes delivery of eco-friendly bulk carrier Haaga
17:05 Teekay LNG Partners mandates banks to arrange Fixed Income Investor Call
16:35 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa
16:05 Royal Wagenborg's m.v. Nassauborg discharges timber in Alexandria
15:30 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
15:02 Maersk and Vopak to launch 0,5% sulphur fuel bunkering facility in Rotterdam
14:48 SHI awarded contract for LNG carrier duo from Celsius Tankers
14:23 Spot market price for Russian M100 product ended last week higher at an average of RUB 18,212 / pmt
13:21 Baltic Shipyard loads heavyweight propulsion units onto the 60MW LK-60 nuclear-powered icebreaker URAL
13:11 APL's Eagle Express Service delivers X-factor in Los Angeles
12:13 Golden Ocean Group to equip its 16 Capsize vessels with scrubbers
12:10 ANL to implement Operational Cost Recovery Surcharge in Chittagong Port
11:07 Port of Vyborg volumes in first seven months rose 28% to 970,000 tonnes
10:57 Golden Ocean announces Q2 2018 results
10:17 Crude oil futures prices edge down to $71.61 in London, in New York to $64.95
10:03 Port of Everett breaks ground on $36 mln South Terminal Wharf Modernization Project
10:03 Baltic Dry Index gains to 1723 points
09:57 Chinese Blockchain Company Yuanben to protect the safety of global maritime freight data
09:36 Box traffic at busiest Chinese ports in Jan-Jul rose 4.1% to 5.36 billion tons
09:28 Port of Hong Kong seven-month box volumes drop 4.4% to 11,5 million TEUs
08:44 Kongsberg Maritime wins contracts for nine hybrid Ro-Ro vessels

2018 August 19

08:19 CMA CGM announces GRR from UAE to East Africa
08:14 Maersk Line introduces Peak Season Surcharge – Scope World to Apapa, Nigeria and Tin Can Island Port, Nigeria
08:12 CMA CGM announces GRR from India to East Africa