Title: News from ... the Panama Canal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099414/00010
 Material Information
Title: News from ... the Panama Canal
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Autoridad del Canal de Panama
Place of Publication: Balboa, Panama
Publication Date: December 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099414
Volume ID: VID00010
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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SDecember 2004
- December 2004

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This year the Panama Canal celebrated nine
decades of service to world commerce by
handling greater traffic and tonnage levels, and
an ever-increasing number of Panamax-size
vessels. Through careful planning, various
capacity enhancement programs have
permitted us to handle more large vessels within
the complex mix of increasing traffic, without
compromising our standard for high quality
transit service. This success has been achieved
through intensive planning and innovation by
our highly skilled work force, which is fully
committed to serving all Canal customers.
As the world shipping industry upgrades its fleet
and pursues the next generation of larger
vessels, we have been actively studying a wide
range of alternatives to ensure that we will meet
the needs of our customers in the coming
decades. We are conducting exhaustive studies
and analyses that will determine the necessary
modernization and improvement projects the
Canal will undertake over the next 20 years.
This includes the possibility of building a third
set of larger locks to satisfy the strong demand
by Panamax vessels, as well as to allow for the
transit of post-Panamax vessels. In the coming
months, we will have developed the roadmap
outlining the future direction of the Canal, and
we will be presenting it to the people of Panama
who will have the final word on the expansion
Considerable ingenuity has been applied in the
preparation of our master plan. We have
examined new ways to manage our water
resources. Our plans for the design of the new
locks consider the possibility of installing water
saving basins that would allow for the recycling
of water used in each lockage, as well as new
technologies for the operation of the locks.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) closely
monitors changes to international rules and
regulations in an effort toward standardization
and globally emphasizing security. Some
significant changes and new projects are
currently underway to ensure that the Canal

remains on par with
international standards.
One of these changes is a
proposal to update the
current vessel measurement
and pricing system for full
container vessels and other
vessel types with on-deck
container carrying capacity
by adopting the industry
standard of the Twenty-Foot
Equivalent Unit (TEU), thus
providing more transparency
to Canal users and its
customers. Another is the
implementation of the new
Automated Data Collection
System (ADCS), aimed at
improving security at the
waterway while complying with international
standards set by the new International Ship and
Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
This year, we continued to increase efficiency,
safety and reliability. Our more than $1 billion
investment to ensure the modernization and
safety of the Canal has allowed us to enhance
and improve the waterway's current
infrastructure and services. Projects currently
underway include the deepening of Gatun Lake,
the principal water reservoir of the Canal, to
minimize the risks of having to implement draft
restrictions during droughts and other natural
phenomena, like El Niio. We are also working
on deepening the Atlantic and Pacific entrances
of the Canal; redesigning the Pedro Miguel and
Miraflores Locks sills to allow for one additional
foot of vessel draft, thus permitting more cargo
and increasing the value of each voyage;
straightening additional sections of the Gaillard
Cut, the narrowest part of the Canal; designing
a new lighting system at the locks to enable the
transit of vessels beyond daylight hours; and
increasing the number of slots available for
transit reservations among other projects. All
of these improvements are geared at improving
the quality and reliability of the service provided


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The A Proose

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to the maritime community, as well as to increase the capacity
of the waterway.
We, at the ACP, take great pride in our efforts to provide new
levels of service and value to our customers. As evidenced last
March, the ACP established two new records when more than
one million (1,005,551) Panama Canal/Universal Measurement
System (PC/UMS) tons transited the Canal in one day and when
Gatun Locks observed 142 days without a single delay caused
by locomotives. In August, five "extreme-size" Panamax ships
(more than 900' in length overall) transited successively
through Gatun Locks, proving once more that the Canal is
resourceful in its commitment to serve its customers through
safety and innovation.
As the New Year approaches, it is traditional to make resolutions
with hopes of achieving them. Our resolution is plain and
simple. We pledge to improve upon the high quality of transit
service that you have experienced over the past nine decades,
and we are absolutely confident that we will succeed. On behalf
of the ACP, I wish to extend warm holiday wishes to you and our
many valued customers around the world, as we look forward to
serving you in the coming year.

Alberto Aleman Zubieta

The ACP Proposes an Updated
Measurement and Pricing System for
Full Container Ships and Other Vessels
with On-Deck Container Capacity

On December 7, after nine months of informal consultations
with its customers and the maritime industry, the Panama
Canal Authority released a formal proposal to update its
current vessel measurement and pricing system for full
container vessels, and other vessel types with on-deck
container capacity.
The proposal would change the system that the Canal uses for
the container segment from the Panama Canal Universal
Measurement System (PC/UMS) to the industry standard of
the Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU).
The updated measurements and pricing system will bring the
ACP's system on par with international standards of the
container industry, provide a more accurate measurement,
offer more transparency to Canal users and their customers,
and enable the ACP to receive a fair value for its product.

The ACP conducted informal consultations with Canal
customers and representatives of the World Shipping
Council and the International Chamber of Shipping. The
ACP has made every effort to incorporate the inputs from
these representatives into the new proposal.
Under the proposal:

* For full container vessels: The new measurement
system will be updated to reflect international
standards for a container the twenty-foot equivalent
unit (TEU), measuring 20'x 8'x 8.5' in size. This will
measure the capacity of the containers and will replace
the current Panama Canal/Universal Measurement
System (PC/UMS) tonnage. The new TEU capacity of
the vessels will take into account the visibility
limitation imposed by the Panama Canal.

* Other vessels with on deck container capacity:
Vessels other than full container ship that can carry on
deck capacity will continue to use PC/UMS tonnage to
measure enclosed spaces and spaces below deck.
Transit pricing of these vessels will vary depending on
the actual number of containers transported on-deck.

The proposed pricing plan will be implemented as

Table No. 1

$42 May 1, 2005
$49 January 1, 2006
$54 January 1, 2007

Interested parties are invited to participate in the
consultation process and public hearing. The following
dates are established:
A.1 Public consultation: There will be a public
consultation period that will begin on December 7, 2004
and expires on January 6, 2005, at 4:15 p.m., local
A.2 Public hearing: A public hearing will be held on
January 7, 2005, in the place indicated in paragraph D.


The interested parties may participate in the consultation and
public hearing in accordance with the following rules:
B.1 As of the publication date of this notification, the
consultation period is open, and the interested parties may
present data, opinions, or statements in writing, in English
or Spanish, which must be received by the deadline of
January 6, 2005, at4:15 p.m., local time.
B.2 All who have participated in the consultation process
above in paragraph A.1 may participate in the public
hearing, to be held on the date indicated in paragraph A.2,
directly or through their duly accredited representatives,
provided that they have announced in writing, during the
consultation period, their intent to participate in the
hearing. This notification must be sent to the addresses
indicated in paragraph C.4, and shall contain the name and
address of the interested party, and the capacity under
he/she shall present himself/herself. The announcement of
participation in the public hearing must be received in
writing, in English or Spanish, no later than January 6, 2005
at 4:15 p.m., local time, and the recorded date and time of
receipt of the notification shall determine the order in which
the interested party shall participate in the public hearing.

C.1 Persons interested in participating in the consultation
process and public hearing may access an electronic copy of
the proposal, both in Spanish and English, at the Panama
Canal Authority website (www.pancanal.com), or request a
copy in person from the Department of Corporate Planning
and Marketing, located in the Canal Administration
Building, Balboa, or by fax at (507) 272-7377 or (507) 272-
1416, or by mail, to any of the addresses indicated in
paragraph C.4.
C.2. Those interested in expressing their comments,
opinions, information, or arguments during the
consultation period shall submit them in writing, in English
or Spanish, in person, by facsimile, or by sending them via
courier or mail, so that they are received no later than the
date and time established in paragraph B.1. No
communications shall be accepted by electronic mail.
C.3 Those interested in participating in the public hearing
must announce their interest in writing, in English or
Spanish, in any of the ways established in the above
paragraph, and within the period established in paragraph
B.2. The date and time of receipt of the notification shall be
recorded in the receiving office, to determine the order in
which the interested parties shall make their respective
presentations on the day of the hearing.
No communications shall be accepted by electronic mail.

C.4 Addresses to send the documentation:
Personal or via Courier in Panama:
Autoridad del Canal de Panama Edificio de la
Administraci6n Oficina 243
Departamento de Planificaci6n Corporativa y Mercadeo
Unidad de Relaciones con los Clientes
Balboa, Anc6n, Reptblica de Panama
By mail in the United States of America:
Panama Canal Authority
Customer Relations Unit (PMMR)
P.O. BOX 526725
Miami, FL 33152-6725
United States of America
By Facsimile to:
(507) 272-7377 and (507) 272-1416

The public hearing shall be held in the "Ascanio
Arosemena" auditorium, Balboa, Republic of Panama, and
shall begin at 9:00 a.m., EST.
For more information or to obtain an electronic copy of the
proposal, please visit: owevwt.pancanal.com.

Traffic strong,
more large vessels
Large vessel transits are continuing to rise, while steadily
occupying a greater share of the Canal's overall traffic
mix, as evidenced by current statistics. Canal records
reflect 2,054 oceangoing transits for the first two months
of fiscal year 2005, a 5.9 percent increase from the 1,938
oceangoing transits recorded a year before. Panamax-
size vessels, those of 100-foot beam and over, registered
969 transits, a rise of 8.6 percent over the previous year.
On November 12, 2004, the Canal established a new
record when 36 supers (vessels with more than a 91 foot
beam) transited the waterway on the same day. Of
these, 85% were Panamax.
The Canal is giving serious attention to a major
expansion of the waterway, to effectively handle the
higher volume of transits by larger vessels projected
over the long term.
This outlook is supported by historical Canal traffic
statistics, global economic and industry data, meetings
with customers, and long-term Canal forecasts.
The adjacent table illustrates a monthly comparative
breakdown by fiscal year. During this two-month
period, Panamax-size vessels held a 47.2 percent share
of total oceangoing transits.

Panamax Transits
100'Beam & Over

October 428 493 15.2%h
November 464 476 2.6%
Total 892 969 8.6%

Changes to the Panama Canal
Transit Reservation
(Booking) System

In order to provide a better distribution of booking slots
based on demand, changes to the Panama Canal Transit
Reservation (Booking) System Rules were implemented
on December 1, 2004.
The distribution of the 21 authorized reserved transit

slots available per day will be allocated among the booking
periods as set forth in the following table:

91ft. (27.74m) in
beam and over
Under 91ft (27.74m) 2 2 4
in beam
Total of 21 7 5 9

For more details regarding these changes, please refer to
the Advisory A-55-2004 at the Maritime Operations link of
the Panama Canal Authority's website at

Administrator Attends Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation CEO Summit

Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator, Alberto Aleman
Zubieta, was invited to attend the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Santiago, Chile from
November 19 -21, 2004. Considered as the most important
business conference held in the Asia-Pacific Region this year,
Aleman Zubieta joined other key business people from North
America, Latin America and Asia.
The CEO Summit endorsed issues such as the challenges of
global trade and the prospects for multilateral trade
negotiations. The participation of the ACP in such an important
event was crucial, since it offered the opportunity to meet with
several top users and exchange views on international trade.
Commenting on his participation, Aleman Zubieta said, "This is
a significant opportunity for the Panama Canal. An invitation
from the world's largest economic forum is an honor for the
Canal and its employees since it signifies the vital role of the
Panama Canal in world trade".

We wan you comet fo mor inomto 01

Your comments and suggestions are very important to us. If you would rather
receive it electronically, please send us a note with your correct email address to:
customerelations@pancanal.com If you need additional copies mailed to other
officials within your corporation, please contact us at the address indicated in the
next box.

Panama Canal Authority
Corporate Planning and Marketing (PM)
P.O. BOX 526725,
Miami FL. 33152-6725

Tel. (507) 272-7961
Fax: (507) 272-1416
e-mail: customerelations@pancanal.com

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