Panama Canal expansion will cost operators, insurers
As the Panama Canal prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, insurers are warning of the increased risks that will arise from the plan to double the cargo-carrying capacity of the world’s most famous canal.
In a report entitled Panama Canal 100: Shipping Safety and Future Risks, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) identifies that the value of insured goods transiting the canal zone may increase by over $1 billion per day following completion of the Third Set of Locks Project, which will see two new sets of locks built, creating a third transit lane for larger ships.
Today, more than 12,000 ships navigate the canal each year, a number that should increase following the anticipated opening of the new locks in 2015. It is forecast the expansion will enable between 12 and 14 larger vessels per day, or approximately 4,750 additional ships per year, to pass through the canal. Of particular significance is that many of these ships are expected to be new-Panamax class container vessels of 12,600 teu, which are almost three times larger than the existing largest vessels able to access the canal (4,400 teu).
With approximately 3 percent ($270 billion) of world maritime commerce ($9 trillion) already transiting the Panama Canal every year, the safe passage of vessels is critical. However, AGCS warns the increased traffic and larger vessels may challenge the Panama Canal’s improved safety record over the past decade with the risks exacerbated through the initial period of the canal opening.
“Larger ships automatically pose greater risks,” said Captain Rahul Khanna, AGCS’s Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting. “The sheer amount of cargo carried means a serious casualty has the potential to lead to a sizeable loss and greater disruption.”
Post-expansion, if operating at full projected capacity, AGCS estimates that this could result in an additional $1.25 billion in insured goods passing through the canal in one day, with larger ships playing a critical role in increasing throughput capacity.
An additional element to consider, and one that has been at the forefront of many salvage conference agendas for many years as vessels grow increasingly large: such vessels can pose serious salvage challenges in a congested shipping environment, even potentially leading to blockages. In the event of an accident there may be an insufficient number of qualified experienced salvage experts available to handle the ships.
AGCS believes training is key to mitigating the new risks involved, both in the canal region itself and in affected ports. “The expansion of the Panama Canal will represent a new shipping environment for many mariners,” said Captain Khanna. “Due to the increase in the number of larger vessels passing through this important waterway the level of training provided to pilots will be extremely important. Attempting to maneuver one of these vessels through such a restricted space in itself creates a much bigger hazard.” The Panama Canal Authority has invested heavily in training, including plans to charter a post-Panamax ship to practice maneuvers through the new lane.
Losses in Perspective
While the focus is on potential losses, it’s worthy to note that the Panama Canal region has a steadily improving safety record, with only 27 shipping casualties over the past decade and just two total losses. This accident rate of around 1 in every 4000 transits compares favorably with other major waterways such as the Suez Canal (1 in 1100 transits) and the Kiel Canal (1 in 830 transits). As the most frequently transiting types of vessel, bulk carriers (11), cargo ships (9) and container ships (9) dominate the canal’s casualty list, collectively accounting for over 75 percent of all incidents since 2002.
(As published in the August 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeReporter)
. The simulator is now located in Balboa, Republic of Panama. It will be used as part of an overall program in the training of pilots for the Panama Canal in ship handling. The simulator was purchased from Tracor Hydronautics as a result of a competitive procurement based on specifications and
, Thunderbolt, Ga. They are the first of a new generation of shiphandling and firefighting tugs specifically designed for work in the Panama Canal. The main feature of these tugboats is the capability of the propellers, located just forward of amidship, to be rotated 360 degrees, enabling the
The Panama Canal is a strategic crossroads for maritime traffic, and is arguably one of the most important maritime developments in the past century. Here we take a deeper dive into the history behind that famous strip of waterway.The present canal, which saw its first vessel transits in 1914, along with
Solidur Plastics Co., Delmont, Pa., supplied an Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) marine fender system for the locks at the Panama Canal to protect oceangoing ships from the damaging impacts of bumping into the lockwalls. Jorge Quijano, chief of the Locks Division, Panama Canal
British marine engineering firm introduced it. The Esperanza was built by Houma Fabricators Inc., Houma, La. The 99-foot harbor tug, owned by the Panama Canal Commission, has twin 1,500-hp General Motors EMD diesels and is rated at 90,000 pounds of foward bollard pull and 72,000 pounds of reverse bollard
The Panama Canal’s impact on shipping routes and vessel sizes since it opened in 1914 is undisputed. This will continue with the opening of a third channel for larger vessels in 2016. This briefing examines the risk management impact of this expansion on the maritime industry. Why is the Panama Canal
program at the Academy. The scholarship he has established will perpetuate his family's longtime interest in and commitment to the welfare of the Panama Canal and the Republic of Panama
A group of French ship repairers led by the Port of Marseilles Authority has disclosed plans for turning the old Panama Canal Co.'s drydocks at Balboa into a modern repair facility. A few weeks ago the group, which includes Chantiers Navals de La Ciotat, received approval from the Panama Canal
Dravo SteelShip Corporation has announced the recent completion and delivery of nine 48-foot pilot boats for the Panama Canal Commission. The single-screw pilot launches have all been delivered to the Canal Zone under their own power. They were delivered two at a time for safety measures. The 2
. The two 1,300-cubic-yard barges, the first to be built by NABRICO for the Commission, will be used in the on-going dredging operations in the Panama Canal. Each is classed by the American Bureau of Shipping as an unmanned ocean service barge complete with loadline. A steel reinforced four-inch
Moss Point Marine, Inc., Escatawpa, Miss., has completed the all-steel, 105-foot harbor tug, Paz, to the Panama Canal Commission, Republic of Panama. Original construction was begun by another shipyard which did not complete the vessel due to inclement weather and a decision by its management to
to the sea Vessel Particulars Length o.a.: 339.5 m Breadth: 60 m Depth: 28.5 m Gross tonnage: 160,597 tons Deadweight tonnage: 311,374 tons Flag: Panama The new vessel is equipped with a scrubber that is compliant with the Inter- national Maritime Organization’s (IMO) more stringent SOx emission regulation
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HISTORY THE PANAMA CANAL Panama Canal The Panama Canal is a strategic crossroads for maritime traf? c, and is arguably one of the most important maritime developments in the past century. Here we take a deeper dive into the history behind that famous strip of wateray. By Barry Parker he present canal
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Image Credit: © 2019 Martijn Gijsbertsen / Marco Vet 34 Born to Design CEO Basjan Faber powers C-Job full steam ahead. By Greg Trauthwein The Panama Canal 26 At long look at the strategic crossroads for the maritime world By Barry Parker U.S.Merchant Marine Academy Maritime Museum. Look Back, 40 Forge
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TOWING COMPANY PROFILE Hometown boy done good. A self-made man, the late Capt. Beau Payne was a Miami River Rat who worked his way from rags to riches. “We grew up poor,” said Cathy. “Our mom was a barmaid. Beau was drawn to the water, instinctively, fshing the canals fshing near our frst Miami home.
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