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Monday, September 16, 2019

Panama News

Image: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Australia Bans Two Bulkers Over Mariner Pay Spat

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned two foreign-flagged bulk carriers from Australian ports after their crews reported being underpaid.The Chinese-owned bulk carrier MV Xing Jing Hai and the Panama-flagged MV Fortune Genius were banned for 18 months and 12 months respectively.AMSA surveyors boarded the Fortune Genius in Gladstone after receiving a complaint via the International Transport Workers’ Federation.AMSA’s investigation revealed the crew of the Fortune Genius had been deliberately under paid by the operator…

Representatives from the Panama Canal and the Port of Rotterdam meet in Panama. Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

Panama Canal Signs MoU with Rotterdam Port

The Panama Canal and the Port of Rotterdam signed a Memorandum Understanding (MOU) to promote international trade between Europe and the West Coast of South America.Through this agreement, the two organizations will work closely to optimize operations while encouraging economic growth and the exchange of information on new business development opportunities, including logistics parks and port development projects."The Expanded Canal continues to reshape global trade routes today…

 Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez Morales takes office as Panama Canal Administrator. Photo: Panama Canal Authority.

Dr. Ricaurte Takes Office as Panama Canal Administrator

Dr. Ricaurte Vásquez Morales was sworn-in during a ceremony held at the Panama Canal Administration Building in Panama City, becoming the fourth Panamanian Administrator of the waterway shortly before it celebrates its 20th year under Panamanian administration on December 31, 2019.Administrator Vásquez an economist with more than 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector said: "Just a few months short of the 20th anniversary of the transfer of the Canal to the Panamanian people, we face a distinctly different reality today.

Photo: NYK Line

NYK Group to Build New Heavy-lift Vessels

NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers Ltd., an NYK Group company and the only shipping company that owns and operates heavy-lift ships in Japan, signed a contract with Nanjing Jinling Shipyard Co. Ltd., which is part of the China Merchants Group, to build a pair of heavy-lift vessels. The ships will be equipped with a pair of 400-ton cranes and be able to lift up to 800 tons of heavy cargo. The hold will be about 95 meters in length at its maximum without any bulkheads, i.e., upright walls within the hold.

File image: A cruise vessel transits the Panama Canal in a recent voyage (CREDIT: ACP)

Panama Canal: Advisory to Shipping

All Shipping Agents, Owners, and Operators advised as to Scheduled Culvert Maintenance at Gatun Locks.Beginning at 0600 hours on Monday, August 26, 2019, until 0600 hours on Friday, September 6, 2019 (10 days), the center wall culvert of Gatun Locks will be out of service for scheduled maintenance. During this culvert outage, both lanes will remain in service, but due to the slower filling and emptying of the chambers, lockages are expected to take longer than usual.As a result, and in accordance with the rules governing the Transit Reservation System (NT Notice to Shipping No.

Pic:  Panama Canal

Fitch Affirms Panama Canal 'A' Investment Grade

For the fourth consecutive year, Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Panama Canal's 'A' investment grade rating with a stable outlook for its long-term issuer default rating and its senior unsecured notes.The credit rating agency noted that the Panama Canal is "an underlying asset that is critical not only for Panama, but for international commerce, as demonstrated by its stable volume performance, solid competitive position, and well-diversified cargo mix," causing the Panama Canal volume profile to exhibit high levels of resilience.In addition…

The Motor Tanker PROTEO (Credit MarineTraffic.Com © Erazo)

Fire Hits PDVSA Tanker at Amuay Bay

A fire swept through the engine room of a tanker owned by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA on Monday while it was anchored at Amuay Bay near the country's largest refinery, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.The extent of the damage to the Panama-flagged Aframax tanker Proteo was not immediately clear. But it highlighted the poor state of much of the fleet belonging to PDV Marina, PDVSA's shipping subsidiary, at a time when U.S. sanctions are complicating its ability to lease vessels from third parties.Even before this fire…

© vintagepix/AdobeStock

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.

DP World currently has five terminals in Dubai, three at the flagship Jebel Ali Port. Photo Credit: DP World

UAE Presence Grows in the Maritime World

Over recent years the United Arab Emirates has emerged as an important maritime hub with grand ambitions. Mark Venables visited the region to discover what is driving that growth.When the UAE was elected to the IMO Council as a Category B member, it immediately raised its profile within the maritime community. The Emirates have taken a significant step forward in the maritime world.Despite this success, the region remains a challenging market for shipping and logistics. One of…

Pic:  UNCTAD

Shanghai Ports Tops in Connectivity

The Shanghai port has topped UNCTAD’s 2019 ranking of the world’s best-connected ports, released yesterday (7 August).The Chinese port garnered a connectivity score of 134 points, followed by the ports of Singapore (124.63 points), Pusan (114.45 points) in Korea and Ningbo (114.35 points), also in China. The index is set at 100 for the best-connected port in 2006, which was Hong Kong, China.Besides the Asian ports, the other ports on the top 10 list are those of Antwerp (94 points) in Belgium and Rotterdam (93 points) in the Netherlands.

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

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

Photo: Port Manatee

Port Manatee wins $1.4 million for Port Security

Port Manatee has been awarded $1,425,000 in federal funding to advance three projects to bolster security at the fast-growing Central-Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port.“Port Manatee greatly appreciates federal support of our efforts to ensure safe, secure and efficient flows of dynamically increasing cargo volumes,” Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said today, following notification of the fiscal 2019 Port Security Grant Program award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.David St.

Pic: Port Houston

Port Houston Box Volume Up 12%

Container volume at Port Houston surged in the first half of 2019, rising 12 percent compared to that period last year. According to the Executive Director Roger Guenther the port facilities have handled nearly 1.5 Million TEU through the first half of 2019.The Houston ship channel also said in a press release that , the Port Commission awarded a contract not to exceed $39.7 million to Archer Western Construction, the top-ranked proposer among four finalists. A total of 53 companies…

© Sergi / Adobe Stock

Panama Canal starts Speed Limits to Protect Whales

Starting August 1 and until November 30, 2019, the Panama Canal will promote the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) annual recommendations on speed and maritime transit aimed at protecting cetaceans, which include whales, dolphins and other large aquatic mammals, during their nearby seasonal migration.With these measures, ships should proceed at a speed of not more than 10 knots in specified areas. Panama has monitored this requirement since December 1…

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

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.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

U.S.: Ships Should Keep AIS On

The United States wants all ships to keep their tracking transponders on to cut down on illicit activity and smuggling, and to increase transparency with movements of ships around the world, a senior State Department official told Reuters.Automatic identification systems trackers are the most accessible way of observing where ships are located.The practice of turning off AIS by some vessels from countries such as Iran has become common to evade closer scrutiny as the United States pushes to cut off Iranian oil exports.The official…

Map: American Association of Port Authorities

Port of Boston Sets New Record

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced another record year for the Port of Boston’s Paul W. Conley Container Terminal.From July 2018 through June 2019, Conley handled 307,331 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) – an 8% increase in cargo volumes over FY2018 and a new all-time record for the fifth consecutive year. Total imports also rose by 12% over FY18 to 152,960 TEUs in advance of pending tariffs.“We are proud of Conley’s continued growth and success, which reflect the region’s strong economy and Conley’s high levels of productivity…

Photo: Panama Canal Authority.

Panama Canal, UN Join Forces on Climate Action

The Panama Canal and UN Environment signed a cooperation agreement today to join efforts on sustainable development and combatting climate change.Signed by the Administrator of the Panama Canal Jorge L. Quijano and the Regional of UN Environment in Latin America and the Caribbean Leo Heileman, the agreement includes the exchange of experiences and knowledge, the development of programs and research in areas of shared interest, and human resources training across both institutions.The…

Pic: ZIM

Zim Begins Asia-Gulf Services with 2M

The global container shipping line Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd (Zim) announced a further expansion of its strategic cooperation with the members of the 2M Alliance, Maersk & MSC, to the Asia - US Gulf Trade."The new services, catering for both Central and South China and South Korea, offer significant advantages for customers, including direct connections to major ports in Asia and the US Gulf; best-in-market transit time with reliable dedicated service; Two weekly cutoffs in Houston & Mobile to better serve growing US exports requirements…

Recent crane deliveries to Greenwich Terminals in Philadelphia, PA / CREDIT: Philaport

Ramping (Up) to Lift Port Production

As North America’s larger ports continue to increase capacity, dredging and air drafts are receiving the attention they deserve. As bigger post-Panamax boxships begin to arrive, none of that means anything unless truck turn times and TEU moves per hour can be improved. The innovative and evolving supply chain of cranes is the ultimate answer.As 2019 passes its midpoint, the backlog 2019, one firm, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), a global heavy-duty equipment manufacturer listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange…

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

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…

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

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…

Patrick Collins (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Promotes Two Supply Chain Leaders

Crowley Logistics has promoted two of its veteran leaders, Sal Menoyo and Patrick Collins, to continue advancing the efficiency and growth of its integrated supply chain services in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands.Menoyo has been named vice president, Caribbean logistics, responsible for the strategic direction of sales, marketing, and administration of its logistics and ocean transportation services throughout Crowley’s footprint in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic…

Photo: CMA CGM

Shipping Firms Drop UK Flag as Brexit Looms

Companies are leaving Britain's shipping registry due to uncertainty over Britain's departure from the European Union and future commercial arrangements with the bloc, industry officials say.All commercial ships have to be registered, or flagged, with a particular country partly to comply with safety and environmental regulations. Shipping companies in many so-called "flag states" pay corporation tax based on vessel tonnage rather than profit.Britain's ship registry forms part…

The Grace 1. Credit: MarineTraffic.com

Panama: Seized Iranian Tanker Removed from Registry

Panama's Maritime Authority said on Thursday that Grace 1, a giant Iranian oil tanker seized by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar, was no longer listed in Panama's international boat registry as of May 29.The Panamanian authority added that Grace 1 had been de-listed after receiving an alert indicating that the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing. Although the tanker flies a Panama flag, Iran claimed ownership and objected to the seizure of its ship. (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Anthony Esposito)

Luis García (Photo: SENER)

García Joins the SENER

SENER has hired Luis García Jiménez as its Director of Corporate Development. This post is essential to the growth and development of the SENER Group, and reports directly to the CEO, Jorge Unda.From his new position, Luis García will be in charge of analyzing, organizing and coordinating medium- and long-term opportunities involving mergers, acquisitions and investments. He will also participate, together with the CEO and the directors of SENER's different divisions, in defining…