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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Panama Canal News

Image: Jacksonville Port Authority

JAXPORT Receives Largest Ever Box Ship

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and terminal operator SSA Atlantic on Monday afternoon welcomed the largest container ship to ever visit Jacksonville.JAXPORT set a new port record today with the arrival of the ZIM vessel Cape Sounio, the largest container ship to ever call Jacksonville, claimed a press release.The 11,000-TEU (container) vessel is operated by ZIM on a service offered by the 2M alliance. The 2M alliance is comprised of Maersk, MSC, Hamburg Süd and strategic partners HMM and ZIM.The vessel, which transited the Panama Canal from Asia before reaching the U.S.

Photo credit: ACP

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…

File Image: CREDIT GPA

Fitch: Port Growth to Level Off

Volume growth will continue for ports throughout the world but at a more modest pace over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Global port throughput has shown resilience over the last 10 years with throughput growth outpacing economic growth rates despite volatility through the last recession. Containerization of cargo and increasing vessel sizes coupled with supporting infrastructure at ports have all contributed to these throughput trends. However…

Photo:Van Oord

$1B Container Terminal for Costa Rica

A consortium of Van Oord and BAM International completed the construction of the APM Terminals Moín in Costa Rica. Last week’s inauguration of the container terminal will enable products to be shipped on transatlantic routes to European and Asian markets without transshipment.The project represents a total investment of $1 billion and is built on a 40-hectare artificial island. The terminal has a 650-m long quay wall and a container yard with the capacity to hold 26,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), including power connection capacity for 3,800 refrigerated containers.

Image: Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Welcomes CMA CGM

Florida's largest port Port Tampa Bay welcome the announcement by the CMA CGM Group, that it will begin serving Port Tampa Bay in late May 2019 on its Pacific Express 3, or PEX3 service.With a presence in 160 countries and a fleet of 506 vessels, CMA CGM serves over 420 ports across the globe and is a member of the Ocean Alliance. The PEX3 port service rotation will be as follows: Singapore – Vung Tau – Hong Kong – Shekou – Ningbo – Shanghai - Busan – Panama Canal - Houston – Mobile – New Orleans – Tampa – Miami – Singapore."We are delighted with this announcement by CMA CGM…

Ricaurte Vasquez. Pic: Florida State University

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…

 Pic: The Port of New Orleans

Port NOLA Sets Container Record in 2018

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) moved more containers in 2018 than at any time in its history, totaling 591,253 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 12.3 percent compared to one year ago.The deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world's busiest port system -- Louisiana's Lower Mississippi River said in a press release that the record marks the fifth year in a row Port NOLA has surpassed the half million TEU-mark at its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which…

Image: Monjasa

Monjasa Moves Bunker Tanker to Panama

Danish bunker group Monjasa has transferred a ship from West Africa to Panama, where it carried out its first fuel supply off the coast of Balboa."As part of a fleet reshuffle, Accra arrived in Panama after forming part of Monjasa’s West Africa bunker operation. The tanker fast received all safety and operational approvals from the Panama Maritime Authorities and completed her first fuel supply at Balboa Anchorage on 18 January," said a statement from the marine fuels supplier.Accra is a 2010-built and 8,800 dwt tanker.

Local workers unload new automobiles from the WWO vessel at the Port of Hueneme  (Photo: Port of Hueneme)

Automotive Customers Recommit to the Port of Hueneme

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WWO) joins BMW North America (BMW) and GLOVIS America (GLOVIS) to secure their presence at the Port of Hueneme with long-term contracts.Representing over half of the Port’s cargo revenue, the automobiles being imported will reach more than 13 states. In addition, the Port also exports globally multiple OEM brands manufactured in the United States, acting as Ventura County’s international commerce gateway.“In a time of uncertainty from ongoing global trade talks and a watchdog approach to the tariff discussion…

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

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.

Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

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…

Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal Signs Deal with Port of Itaqui

The Panama Canal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Port of Itaqui, located in the northeastern region of Brazil, to promote the shipment of grains and other cargoes in the commercial route between the north of Brazil through the Panama Canal to destinations located in the Pacific Ocean.The Port of Itaqui, located in São Luís, Maranhão, is the Brazilian port closest to the Panama Canal and has the infrastructure and connectivity necessary to move these exports to markets in Asia.

Pic: Panama Canal Authority

Chinese Consortium Bags USD 1.4bln Panama Bridge Project

The government of Panama gave a US$1.4 billion contract to build a bridge over the Panama Canal to Panama Cuarto Puente, a Chinese consortium.Panama Cuarto Puente consortium or so-called Panama Fourth Bridge Consortium,  composed of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and its unit China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), will design and build a bridge over the Panama Canal.According to a report in Reuters, the 6.5-km (4-mile) bridge will have six car lanes and a two-way metro line.

Image: International Transport Workers' Federation

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…

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Jones Act Dredgers, America at its Best

The U.S.-Flag dredging industry commemorates the 77th anniversary of the Japanese air raid on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor highlighting the critical need for a robust American shipbuilding capacity to ensure for the preparedness of the nation.“Today our brothers and sisters of the U.S Merchant Marine look to the past sacrifices made by 2,403 U.S. servicemen who died in the attacks on Pearl Harbor. We honor the members of the U.S. Armed Services,” said William P.

Pic: ESL Shipping

LNG Bulk Carrier Viikki Starts Baltic Sea Ops

The world's most eco-friendly bulk carrier m/s Viikki, owned by ESL Shipping, a subsidiary of the Aspo Plc, has started operating on the Baltic Sea.The 25,600-dwt vessel, 160 metres long and fuelled by liquefied natural gas, produces less than half of the carbon dioxide of previous vessel generation, thanks to LNG and many advanced technologies.M/s Viikki was built in China, and after completion first sailed to Japan to load a cargo of raw materials. From there, she arrived to the Baltic Sea through the Northeast Passage…

Gulfport as it appears today.

Gulfport’s Long Road Back From Hurricane Katrina

When Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport spoke to the audience at the annual state of the port luncheon July 27, 2018 at the newly rebuilt Island View Casino, he had a lot to offer in terms of jobs. And he had two aces in the hole: SeaOne, an untested compressed liquefied gas company and Yilport, a terminal company operated by an ambitious Turkish port developer. Both had letters of intent dating back two years with much to do.As has been the case since before Daniels took over from Don Allee in 2013…

Pic: Matson

First Aloha-Class Ship Delivered to Matson

Matson, Inc. took delivery of the first of two new Aloha Class containerships built for Matson's Hawaii service at Philly Shipyard.Christened 'Daniel K. Inouye' in honor of Hawaii's late senior U.S. Senator, the vessel is the largest containership ever built in the United States. Weighing in at over 51,400 metric tons, the 850-foot long and 3,600 TEU capacity Daniel K. Inouye is Matson's largest ship and also its fastest, with a top speed in excess of 23 knots."This new ship, our fifth delivered by Philly Shipyard…

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, Jim Newsome

SC Ports State of the Port Emphasizes Infrastructure to Support Growth

Jim Newsome, president and CEO, highlights cooperation and collaboration.South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, Jim Newsome, presented the annual State of the Port to an audience of approximately 600 customers, elected officials and shipping industry representatives at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Jim’s presentation focused on the Port’s successes, strategic infrastructure investments to support continued container volume growth, new initiatives to increase Port productivity and overall industry trends that will impact the Port in the future.

Photo: Port of Manatee

Port Manatee Announces Record Fiscal Year

Port Manatee reports it continues to break cargo records, including handling an all-time-high of more than 9.3 million tons in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 19.1 percent from the immediately preceding 12-month period. That comes on the heels of a 13.4 percent tonnage rise in fiscal 2017 from fiscal 2016.Across-the-board increases were enjoyed by the diverse Southwest Florida port in the just-ended fiscal year, besting numerous prior records, according to figures reported.Due largely to a more-than-tripling of phosphate rock handled…

(Photo: GAC)

GAC Opens New Office in Panama

A GAC Group-owned office is now operational in Panama, providing a wide range of shipping services to vessels calling at Panamanian ports or transiting the Panama Canal.Bob Bandos, GAC’s Group Vice President – Americas, said, “As a global ship agency, GAC has a growing base of customers and prospects utilizing the Panama Canal, so it was imperative to set up our own office here. Our expansion into Panama reaffirms the Group’s long-term commitment and investment in the Americas region.

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)

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.

The Panama Canal transited four LNG vessels in one day, marking a first for the waterway. (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

Four LNG Carriers Transit Panama Canal in One Day

The transit of four liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers through the Panama Canal’s Neopanamax Locks in a single day marks a new milestone for the canal and reinforces its capacity to handle growing demand from the U.S., where several new LNG export terminals are scheduled to begin operating.On Monday, the vessels Ribera del Duero Knutsen with a cargo capacity of 173,000 m3 and Maran Gas Pericles with cargo capacity of 174,000 m3 transited northbound, while Torben Spirit with a cargo capacity of 174…

(Photo: Höegh LNG)

LNG Shipping Rates Spike with No Respite Seen Through 2019

The price of shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) has spiked in September and is likely to remain high next year, buoyed by rising production from new plants and concerns that demand for LNG vessels will outpace supply.The rate for vessels shipping LNG from the Atlantic Basin to Asia has jumped to $90,000 to $95,000 a day this week from $75,000 a day at the end of August, brokers and traders said.Rates, which broadly hovered around $30,000 to $40,000 a day from 2015 to 2017, have risen due to longer distances covered to transport LNG from new terminals in the United States and Arctic Russia…

Image: Panama Canal Administration

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…

Callen Marine's CSD General Eisenhower in action in the port of Galveston, Texas (CREDIT: Callen Marine)

Doubling Down on Domestic Dredging

U.S. Dredgers Weigh in on Infrastructure, U.S. Capabilities and the road ahead.Domestic dredging firms face many challenges in the coming months and years. At the same time, opportunities abound in a market and political climate that seems to beg for infrastructure upgrades, especially when it comes to harbors and inland waterways. Weighing in this edition on all of that – and more – are three U.S.-based dredging firms; Callan Marine, Cashman Dredging, and Weeks Marine.Cranford, NJ-based Weeks Marine, Inc.