• 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 May 21

18:31 P&O Cruises marks first construction milestone for newest ship with steel cutting ceremony in Papenburg
18:00 IMO continues roll out of new port emissions training
17:35 Preliminary preparation stage for concession on Northern Latitudinal Railway completed
17:08 Two more vessels added to Offshore Fleet of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company
16:40 Oceanographic research vessel Admiral Vladimirsky arrives at port of Messina (Sicily)
15:59 Federal funding contributes to critical infrastructure projects to support trade through the Port of Vancouver
15:31 Vympel Shipyard launches 75th Mangust patrol boat for Russian FSB Border Service (photo)
15:00 Marine Recruiting Agency starts implementing a package of educational software for UCL Holding companies
14:29 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO up to RUB 6,326 in RF spot market
14:03 'Sulphur cap chaos in 2020' warn world’s shipowners - ICS
13:57 BMT supports installation of Kriegers Flak Foundations
13:53 Multipurpose Reloading Complex doubles its investments in development
13:27 Financial report of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company receives positive review
12:58 Tallink wins prestigious tourism award at Asia’s biggest tourism fair ITB China
12:29 IMO supported Regional Workshop for Latin-American countries to implement treaties dealing with liability and compensation
11:56 Vladimir Serebrennikov elected as Director General of Arkhangelsk Sea Commercial Port
11:20 FESCO reduces delivery time from Republic of Korea to Russia from 23 to 15 days
10:31 Water Transport newspaper celebrates its centenary on 31 May 2018 at Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
10:08 MOL starts selling of new "Viable Organism Analyzer" for ballast water
10:02 Brent Crude futures price up 0.7% to $79.06, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.69% to $71.86
09:38 NOVATEK creates Maritime Arctic Transport Company
09:17 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,273 points

2018 May 20

09:21 Hapag-Lloyd announces FAK rates from North Europe to Caribbean, Central America and South America West Coast
09:19 EU Ambassadors visit Peru’s largest multipurpose terminal
09:16 SEA\LNG bolsters its knowledge base with the addition of MAN Diesel & Turbo
09:13 Finnlines starts new direct service between Helsinki and Aarhus
09:11 Canadian Coast Guard selects ABS for fleetwide contract

2018 May 19

10:56 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa
10:01 CMA CGM announces PSS from Nigeria to India and Vietnam
07:50 Port of Kiel welcomes “Saga Sapphire” maiden visit
07:47 The “GRANDE HALIFAX” christened in Halifax

2018 May 18

18:00 Denis Manturov appointed as the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation
17:44 Port of Hamburg posts Q1 2018 results
17:39 Yevgeny Ditrikh appointed as the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation (photo)
17:38 Seaspan accepts delivery of third 10000 TEU SAVER containership in four ship series
17:35 Prosafe extends standstill agreement with Cosco
17:17 Okskaya Sudoverf delivered Belmax 1, first non-self-propelled tank barge of Project ROB20
16:51 Special event on ports at IMO Headquarters will focus on single window, ports and logistics
16:35 Port of Hamburg receives ‘Best Global Seaport’ award
16:05 IMO begins scoping exercise on autonomous vessels
15:42 Brand-new jetty at Rotterdam LBC Tank Terminals ready for vessels
15:40 HELCOM group meets in Riga to discuss nutrients from land-based sources
15:39 Multimillion pound investment continues in Grangemouth, Scotland's premier port
15:38 India benefits from IMO training on port emissions
15:11 Nevsky Shipyard starts sea trials of medium sea tanker of project 23130 (photo)
14:44 Star Marine takes delivery of RAstar 3400 quartet
13:53 Ladozhsky Bridge in the Leningrad Region drawn twice to let PORT FLEET’s tugboats through
13:47 Eniram signs MoU with Arista Shipping to participate in Project Forward for developing new generation of bulk carriers
13:29 Statoil ASA changes name to Equinor ASA
13:00 Cargo turnover at inland water ways of Azov-Don Basin down 12.7% to 606,000 tonnes
12:42 ABS to provide class and certification services for the entire Canadian Coast Guard fleet
11:57 Astrakhan branch of Zvyozdochka shipyard launches rescue towboat for RF Defence Ministry (photo)
11:35 Huntington Ingalls authenticates keel of submarine Montana (SSN 794)
11:18 Akademik Lomonosov FPU arrives in the Kola Bay (photo)
11:03 UAE signs MoU with ITF
10:32 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in 4M’18 up 10% Y-o-Y to 4.71 million tonnes
10:30 Scorpio Tankers announces sale and leaseback agreements for five product tankers
10:13 Brent Crude futures price up 0.30% to $79.54, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.21% to $71.64
09:56 ZNT Yard launched the lead hydrographic survey vessel and lays down two more HSVs (photo)
09:17 Baltic Dry Index fell to 1,305 points