Panama Canal News

11 May 2020

Panama Canal Secures Steady Draft

(Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

The Panama Canal has emerged from its fifth driest year in 70 equipped to ensure a competitive draft, and thus steady operations, after draft concerns led to the implementation of water-saving measures.Having an operational level of water and transit reliability in the second half of 2020 will be critical for the waterway as it advances its search for long-term water solutions and prepares for coronavirus-driven shifts in trade, as the Panama Canal Administrator outlined earlier this month.The waterway has carefully monitored its operational water usage since the end of 2018…

29 Apr 2020

Panama Canal Tweaks Payment System to Help Ships During Coronavirus

© Solarisys / Adobe Stock

The Panama Canal said on Wednesday it would make a temporary change to the payment system for ships booking passage through the waterway in order to offer more flexibility to customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak."As of May 4, 2020, the interoceanic highway will implement temporary changes to the requirements for making reservations and the advance payment of reservation fees upon confirmation," the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a statement.Ships have hitherto had to pay fees within 48 hours of making reservations to transit.

03 Apr 2020

Two Cruise Ships Dock in Florida After Coronavirus Ordeal

© Solarisys / Adobe Stock

An ocean liner forced by a deadly onboard coronavirus outbreak to languish at sea since mid-March pulled into a South Florida port on Thursday, after authorities settled plans for the vessel and its sister ship to dock and most passengers to come ashore.The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam and its twin, the MS Rotterdam, docked late in the afternoon at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where medical personnel immediately began off-loading 13 severely ill…

02 Apr 2020

Coronavirus-stricken Zaandam to Dock in Florida

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

Two Holland America Line cruise ships, including the coronavirus-hit Zaandam, are scheduled to dock at Port Everglades on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Florida port confirmed.The port said it would hold berths open for the two ships as details for the conditions of arrival are being finalized. An estimated time of arrival is to be determined.Florida has been working with the cruise line and the U.S. government to develop a plan to allow thousands of passengers exposed to COVID…

01 Apr 2020

Trump Urges Florida to Welcome Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Florida officials to open an Atlantic Coast port to a Dutch cruise ship stuck at sea with a deadly coronavirus outbreak onboard, urging the governor to drop his opposition.Weighing in on the fate of Holland America Line’s MS Zaandam during a White House briefing, Trump said he would call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has declared the vessel unwelcome to prevent its sick passengers from being “dumped” on his state.“They’re dying on the ship…

30 Mar 2020

Holland America Line Extends Pause on Operations

© Jordi de Rueda / Adobe Stock

Carnival-owned Holland America Line, owner and operator of the coronavirus-stricken MS Zaandam, announced it will extend its pause of global cruise operations for an additional 30 days, cancelling sailings scheduled to depart through May 14, amid continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding global health concerns."As the world addresses global health concerns, travel has come to a temporary standstill as communities take necessary precautions to protect themselves," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

30 Mar 2020

Laden LNG Tanker Bound for China is First from US Since March 2019

Roberto Garnham Poblete / MarineTraffic.com

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker which loaded a cargo from the United States is currently heading to China, the first shipment since March 2019, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and Kpler on Monday.The tanker SK Resolute loaded the cargo from the Cameron LNG terminal on March 22 and was originally headed to Cristobal, Panama, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler.It changed its destination to Tianjin in China on March 28 and is expected to arrive at the Chinese port on April 28…

29 Mar 2020

Coronavirus-hit Ship Approved to Pass Through Panama Canal

The Panama Canal facilitated this Sunday the transit of Holland America's MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam cruise ships (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

A cruise ship stuck off Panama’s Pacific coast after four passengers died and more than 130 others developed influenza-like symptoms, including at least two with the coronavirus, will be allowed to proceed through the Panama Canal, the government said on Saturday.Holland America Line’s 238-meter (781-foot) MS Zaandam vessel can now continue its trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but Panama’s government underscored that no passengers or crew members would be allowed to set foot…

27 Mar 2020

Four Passengers Die on Cruise Ship with Coronavirus Outbreak

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

Four passengers have died on board the MS Zaandam, a cruise ship currently off the coast of Panama with dozens of guests suffering from influenza-like symptoms, at least two of whom have coronavirus, the vessel's operator said on Friday.Zaandam had been on a South American cruise that departed Argentina on March 7 and had been scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile on March 21.

23 Mar 2020

42 People Sick on Cruise Ship Zaandam

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

Passengers aboard the cruise ship Zaandam are being quarantined after 42 people on board exhibited "influenza-like symptoms", the ship's operator Holland America Line said.As of Sunday morning, 13 passengers and 29 crew reported to the ship’s medical center, but it is unknown whether these are coronavirus cases as there is no COVID-19 testing available on board.Holland America Line said it asked passengers to self-quarantine "out of an abundance of caution", and crew who are not required for vessel operations are also being quarantined.

09 Mar 2020

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

Photo: Weeks Marine

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

25 Feb 2020

KSS Line Orders 5th VLGC at HHI

Image: KSS Line

South Korean shipping company KSS Line placed an order for the construction of a new class 84,000 cbm Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) at compatriot Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).According to a statement from the marine transportation business company, this is the fifth VLGC order at the yard. All five VLGCs are scheduled for delivery in 2021."In 2021, when five new VLGCs, including the new vessels, are delivered, sales are expected to exceed KRW 300 billion and continue to grow…

20 Feb 2020

Shipping Industry Faces $370 mln Hit From New Panama Canal Charge

© searagen / Adobe Stock

A new "freshwater" charge that came in this month to help the Panama Canal cope with climate change will cost the shipping industry up to $370 million a year, marking another blow for maritime companies already hit by fallout from the coronavirus.The Panama Canal, one of world's busiest shipping routes, which handled nearly 14,000 transits last year, said last month it would introduce a charge from Feb. 15 of $10,000 for any vessel more than 125 feet long.The canal, which relies on water from nearby Gatun Lake, has been hit by drought which affects water levels in the chokepoint.

13 Feb 2020

Ships to Face 30% Higher Costs at Panama

Image: Panama Canal Authority.

The Panama Canal will begin collecting a freshwater surcharge from ships using the waterway from 15th February, as part of actions to address a scarcity of rainfall after the surrounding area recorded its fifth driest year of the last seven decades in 2019.The charge will be set at $10,000 for any vessel over 125 feet long. There will also be a variable surcharge based on the level of the Gatun Lake at the time of transit.The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) calculate this move will increase costs to ships passing through the Panama Canal by up to 15%.

10 Feb 2020

KHI Delivers New LPG carrier Crystal Angel

Image: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) delivered the Crystal Angel, an 82,200 m3 capacity liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, for the Singapore based shipowner and operator Kumiai Navigation.According to a KHI release, this is the 61th LPG carrier and the 12th vessel of the same type to be built by the company.Crystal Angel adopts Kawasaki's indegenously developed bow shape called SEA-Arrow, which significantly improves propulsion performance by minimizing bow wave resistance."The main engine powering the vessel is an energy-efficient…

16 Jan 2020

Port NOLA Sets New Box Record

Image: Port NOLA

Louisiana’s only international container port Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) moved more containers in 2019 than at any time in its history, totaling 648,538 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 10% compared to one year ago.The multimodal gateway for global trade said in a press release that the record marks the sixth consecutive year the Port surpassed the half million TEU-mark at its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which is operated by New Orleans Terminal and Ports America.“Port NOLA has now seen double-digit growth in total container volumes for two consecutive years…

11 Nov 2019

AEO Status for APM Terminals Quetzal

Pic: APM Terminals

Guatemala’s Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT), customs entity, has recognized APM Terminals Quetzal’s transparency and security through its accreditation as an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). The terminals achieved a 100% compliance rating.The terminal uses a state-of-the-art terminal operating system to optimize security, control and cargo management. It also enables customs and customers to work together as efficiently as possible.Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) recognized the terminal’s compliance with international and local security standards…

07 Nov 2019

Fuel Spread for 32 Ports on BIMCO Website

Photo: BIMCO

BIMCO members can now monitor the price spread between Marine Gas Oil Low Sulphur and 380 centistoke High Sulphur Fuel Oil in 32 different ports around the world with daily information supplied by MABUX.The service is intended to assist members in making bunkering decisions before and after January 1, 2020.“We have seen significant fluctuations in the market over the past couple of months – fluctuations that can only be explained by the massive uncertainty about the future. It is currently not operating by market fundamentals.

08 Nov 2019

IMO2020: Market Uncertainty Brings More Fuel Oil Price Volatility

Photo: BIMCO

The oil market has recently been shaken up by geopolitical events, but volatility in the price difference between low and high sulphur fuel cannot be explained by that alone – the uncertainty is the chaos factor.The uncertainty of the upcoming IMO 2020 Sulphur cap regulation (IMO2020) is having a big impact on the bunker market. Whereas, the price for Marine Gas Oil Low Sulphur (MGO LS) has largely remained stable, the price for High Sulphur Fuel oil (HSFO) has been become increasingly more volatile in recent months.

02 Dec 2019

Mega Box Ship on Maiden Call at APM Costa Rica

Image: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Moín made history when it welcomed the MSC Sara Elena, the largest container ship to ever berth in Costa Rica, measuring 300m long and a capacity of 8,000 TEUs.In 337 lifts, exports of key Costa Rican exports, included pineapples and bananas, were loaded onto the Sara Elena destined for Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The vessel was in port for just under nine hours, including the obligatory first call celebrations.This successful call once again validates the opportunity to serve Costa Rica’s economy with larger vessels.

16 Dec 2019

KHI Delivers LNG carrier Marvel Pelican

Image: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Japanese public multinational corporation Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has delivered the Marvel Pelican, a 155,000 m3 capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport vessel for use by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).The second of Kawasaki's line of 155,000 m3 capacity LNG carriers to be commissioned, this ship is designed to enable passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal, which opened for full operations in 2016.The Marvel Pelican will be used by MOL primarily to transport LNG procured via the American Cameron LNG Project in the U.S.

02 Jan 2020

First Woman Deputy Administrator at Panama Canal

The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Minister for Channel Affairs, Aristides Royo, and Espino de Marotta in office. Photo courtesy: Panama Canal

Ilya Espino de Marotta, who played a lead role in the expansions of the Panama Canal  took office  on January 1 as  the  first  woman  deputy administrator of  the waterway.She was chosen by the board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority to replace  Manuel Benítez, who retired on December 31, 2019.Mrs. Espino de Marotta began her career at the Canal in 1985 as the sole female engineer at its shipyard. She now works alongside more than 1,000 women and recently served as the…

16 Jan 2020

Phoenix Tankers Adds New LPG Carrier

Image: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has delivered the Phoenix Gaia, an 82,200 m3 capacity liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, for Phoenix Tankers Pte. Ltd.According to a press note from the shipbuilder, Phoenix Gaia is the 60th LPG carrier and the 11th vessel of the same type to be built by the company.This vessel adopts Kawasaki's indegenously developed bow shape called SEA-Arrow, which significantly improves propulsion performance by minimizing bow wave resistance.The release said that the main engine powering the vessel is an energy-efficient…

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