Suez Canal Ship Transits Rise Amid COVID-19
Transits through the Suez Canal, the beating heart of the Egyptian economy, have stayed remarkably resilient to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic if judging by total transits of the three commercial shipping sectors which are up 8% year-on-year. This is despite bleak economic growth prospects world-wide following the pandemic, and highlights that shipping remains the backbone of the global economy.It is often said that a picture says more than 1,000 words, but 6,166 ship transits in the Suez Canal can certainly also tell an interesting tale.
World's Largest Containership Sails Through the Suez Canal
The world's largest containership, HMM Algeciras, passed through the Suez Canal on Monday as the record-setting 24,000 TEU class vessel makes its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe.Built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s (DMSE) Okpo shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, the 399.9-meter HMM Algeciras has a capacity of 23,964 TEU and is the first of 12 vessels of the same class, design and size contracted to be built by DSME and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).Delivered in April…
Panama Canal Tweaks Payment System to Help Ships During Coronavirus
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.
Shipping Industry Faces $370 mln Hit From New Panama Canal Charge
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.
Ships to Face 30% Higher Costs at Panama
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%.
First Woman Deputy Administrator at 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…
Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal
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.
23,756 TEU “MSC Gulsun" Transits Suez Canal
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…
Panama: Canal Operating normally; no ships detained
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
ICS Weighs in on Proposed Panama Canal Tolls
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.
INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping
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…
Panama Canal Hearing on Tolls Structure
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…
Panama Canal to Modify Tolls Structure
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…
Ever Larger LNG Tankers Head for Panama Canal
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…
Svitzer to Deliver Two Tugs for Suez Canal
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…
Moody's Upgrades Panama Canal Rating
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…
Suez Canal Extends Bulker Toll Discounts
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…
Panama Canal Appoints New Administrator
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…
Moody's Rated Panama Canal with Stable Outlook
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.
Brazil’s Itaqui Port and Panama Canal Sign MOU
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…
ITF Warns on Tug Captains Fatigue at Panama
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…
Egypt Cuts Fees for Ships Arriving at East Port Said
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
Panama Canal Sets Record Annual Cargo Tonnage
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.
Panama Canal Modifies Reservation System
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…
S&P Upgrades Panama Canal's Outlook
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…
Egypt Denies Suez Canal Seeks 300 mln Euro Loan
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.