Canal Authority News

16 Aug 2019

Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal

© vintagepix/AdobeStock

The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.

09 Aug 2019

23,756 TEU “MSC Gulsun" Transits Suez Canal

MSC GULSUN,  the largest container ship in the world, transits the Suez Canal for the first time 9 August 2019. CREDIT: SCA

Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and Suez Canal Economic Zone, announced the successful transit of MSC GULSUN, the world’s largest container vessel, on its first trip through the New Suez Canal. The Panamanian ship transited the Canal with the northbound convoy, heading to North Western Europe from the Port of XINGANG.As per protocol in the Suez Canal Authority on receiving mega vessels transiting for the first time, Admiral Mameesh, presented the ship’s master with a bouquet of flowers and the Suez Canal Authority’s shield…

07 Aug 2019

Panama: Canal Operating normally; no ships detained

file image: A containership in the Panama Canal (CREDIT:CH2M)

Panama's Canal Authority said on Wednesday that the canal was operating normally and without delays, adding that no ships had been detained in the trade waterway.The entity posted the statement on Twitter in response to a tweet from Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who said a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy had been detained in the canal.Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon

30 Jul 2019

ICS Weighs in on Proposed Panama Canal Tolls

File Image: A cruise vessel passes through the Panama Canal. CREDIT: ACP

Global Shipping Industry Delivers Comments to Official Consultation on Proposed Modifications to Panama Canal Tolls.The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is conducting a public consultation on a proposal to adjust the Panama Canal tolls for containerships, vehicle carriers, dry bulk carriers, tankers, chemical carriers, LPG and LNG vessels, passenger vessels and small vessels. The proposed new toll charges are anticipated to enter into effect on 1 January 2020, the same day as the IMO ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ regulation.

26 Jul 2019

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

25 Jul 2019

Panama Canal Hearing on Tolls Structure

Administrator Quijano gathers feedback from maritime groups during the public hearing. Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) held Tuesday a public hearing on the proposed modifications of its toll structure which culminated the period for receiving inquiries from the industry.The agency of the government of Panama responsible for the operation and management of the Panama Canal recently published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership, vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels…

16 Jun 2019

Panama Canal to Modify Tolls Structure

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels).According toa press release from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15…

21 May 2019

Panama Canal Closer to a Carbon Neutral Future

Image: Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal Authority announced enhancements to its industry-leading Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program.The award-winning initiative encourages the shipping industry to mitigate the environmental impact of their operations through an incentive-based system that includes the Green Connection Award, the Environmental Premium Ranking and the Emissions Calculator.The announcement took place on the heels of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC74) in London…

03 May 2019

Ever Larger LNG Tankers Head for Panama Canal

Ever large merchant vessels, including this large containership, are now transiting the Panama Canal on a regular basis. Image: CH2M

A 'Q-Flex' LNG tanker, the world's second-largest class of liquefied natural gas carriers, is set to pass through the Panama Canal for the first time, the canal's CEO said, expanding the Americas to Asia trade route for the fast-growing commodity.The 'Al Safliyah', which can carry about 210,000 cubic metres of LNG, is on its way to Panama from the North Pacific after discharging a cargo from Qatar into Korea Gas Corp's (KOGAS) Tongyeong terminal on April 21, shipping data in Refinitiv Eikon showed."This is the first Q-Flex to transit the Panama Canal…

01 May 2019

Panama Canal Expansion Allows More NGL Transists

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

In June 2016, the Panama Canal Authority, the body that operates the Panama Canal, opened a third set of locks that facilitated transit of larger ships, the first such expansion since the canal was completed in 1914.In the years since the canal was expanded, the largest change in petroleum flows through the canal has been the increase of hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL), especially propane, from the U.S. Gulf Coast to destinations in Asia. HGL represents all natural gas liquids (NGL)…

02 Apr 2019

Svitzer to Deliver Two Tugs for Suez Canal

Photo by Svitzer

Svitzer, part of Denmark-based A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, has signed a 10-year agreement with the Suez Canal Authority wherein the company will provide two newbuild tugs to support operations.The the largest company globally within towage, salvage and related services said in a press release that per agreement, it has to provide two new azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs for supporting the operations in Port Said and Suez Canal."After several stages of approval and multi-disciplinary approaches…

18 Mar 2019

GIA Expands Membership

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Panama Canal Authority and A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S are the latest entities to join the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-supported Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA).According to the UN body, the GIA now has 18 members, including leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports.The new members signed up to the GIA during the fifth meeting of the GIA Taskforce at IMO Headquarters in London…

12 Mar 2019

Moody's Upgrades Panama Canal Rating

Photo credit: ACP

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the 20-year $450 million Senior Unsecured Bonds issued by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to A1 from A2, with a stable outlook, based on the waterway's strong performance since the expansion's inauguration.Moody's noted that the Expanded Canal has increased overall tonnage and attracted new market segments, contributing to the waterway's strong performance. According to Moody's, "stronger cash flow generation coupled with a relatively low leverage…

17 Feb 2019

Suez Canal Extends Bulker Toll Discounts

Image: Suez Canal Authority (SCA)

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has extended discounts concerning dry bulk vessels operating between American and Asian ports after considering “new changes in the global shipping market and the world economy”."SCA pays more attention to its users best interest, and has recently taken steps towards being the safest, most secure, most reliable and most competitive compared to other routes," said a press release.It said that the rebate granted to (Laden/Ballast) Dry Bulk Vessels operating between Americas' ports and Asian ports…

17 Feb 2019

Panama Canal Appoints New Administrator

Ricaurte Vasquez. Pic: Florida State University

The Panama Canal Board of Directors announced the appointment of Ricaurte Vasquez as the next Panama Canal Administrator.According to a press note from the artificial 82 km waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, Vasquez will take office on September 4, 2019, succeeding current Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, who concludes his seven-year term at the helm of the waterway.The decision was made by the Board of Directors in accordance to an independent…

14 Dec 2018

Moody's Rated Panama Canal with Stable Outlook

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

Moody's Investors Service reaffirmed the Panama Canal Authority's (ACP) A2 long-term rating with a stable outlook, based on its distinctive position as an infrastructure asset with a unique geographic advantage and business model, and its strong historical operational and financial performance.According to Moody's, the ACP's strong financial performance has resulted in better than anticipated financial metrics, driven by the successful operations of the Expanded Panama Canal.

13 Dec 2018

Brazil’s Itaqui Port and Panama Canal Sign MOU

Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The Panama Canal has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Itaqui to promote the shipment of grains and other cargoes in the commercial route from Brazil through the Panama Canal to destinations located in the Pacific Ocean.Itaqui, located in São Luís, Maranhão, is the Brazilian port closest to the Panama Canal. It  has the infrastructure and connectivity necessary to move these exports to markets in Asia."With this agreement, the Panama Canal looks to promote…

06 Dec 2018

ITF Warns on Tug Captains Fatigue at Panama

Image: International Transport Workers' Federation

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) warns that a major accident on the Panama Canal could be imminent, highlighting the serious health and safety concerns related to the fatigue of tugboat captains.The new report  takes the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) to task with tiredness, rather than the protocols in place for the physical transfer of vessels as was the case previously.Fatigue of Panama Canal tugboat poses a major threat to safety in the operation of the canal’s Neopanamax locks…

18 Oct 2018

Egypt Cuts Fees for Ships Arriving at East Port Said

© Carabay / Adobe Stock

Egypt will reduce the tariffs on container ships and ferries coming from foreign ports to East Port Said for a period of one year, the Suez Canal Authority said in a statement on Thursday.A 30 percent discount on port, docking and guiding fees will apply for vessels carrying less than 80,000 tonnes while those carrying more than that will receive a 40 percent discount, the statement said.Vessels carrying more than 50 containers will be eligible for a discount of up to 60 percent, but both rates cannot be applied at the same time, it said.The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Eur

05 Jul 2018

Egypt Denies Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln Euro Loan

File Image: A laden boxship transits the Suez Canal. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Andriy Kovach)

Egypt's government denied in a statement on Thursday that the Suez Canal Authority was seeking a 300 million euro loan from Gulf lenders. Three senior banking sources that did not wish to be named had told Reuters last week that the authority requested a loan from Gulf banks in order to purchase two dredgers. "The Suez Canal has not borrowed any money from any foreign banks, and everything that had been mentioned about this issue is nothing but baseless rumours," the government statement said.

05 Jul 2018

S&P Upgrades Panama Canal's Outlook

File Image: A containership in the Panama Canal: CREDIT CH2M

Two years after the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal, Standard & Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings revised its outlook on the Panama Canal from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ – demonstrating the global impact of the historic waterway. The rating agency also affirmed its 'A-' rating for the Panama Canal, ranking the ACP two notches above that of the sovereign foreign currency rating. The Panama Canal's outlook indicates the rating agency's expectation that it will generate relatively stable annual earnings before interest…

02 Sep 2018

Panama Canal Modifies Reservation System

Image: Panama Canal Administration

The Panama Canal will implement, from October 1, changes in the transit reservation system for the new neopanamax locks, which includes a restructuring of payment fees for the natural gas segment liquefied (LNG), in order to optimize the use of the interoceanic route.A press release from Panama Canal Administration (ACP) said that the modifications "are a positive step for the neopanamax locks", and take into account the lifting of certain rules of navigation to LNG ships, as well as the comments of customers.In order to maximize the benefits of these new navigation rules…

11 Oct 2018

Panama Canal Sets Record Annual Cargo Tonnage

The container segment continued to serve as the leading market segment for tonnage through the Canal, accounting for 159 million tons of the total cargo received, of which 112.6 million PC/UMS tons transited the Expanded Canal. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), which represents a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year, the Panama Canal Authority reports.With this tonnage, the Panama Canal surpasses the cargo projections of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2017."The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing every day the importance of the waterway's expansion and its impact on global maritime trade," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

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