Program for Extending the Panama Canal's Capacity
Improving lighting at the locks.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is carrying out an
ambitious investment program, aimed at extending
the waterway's capacity. The program, which began
this fiscal year and is scheduled to be completed in
fiscal year 2011, has an estimated value of $415
million. Its main objective is to provide additional
capacity while maintaining the Canal's high quality of
The program includes improvements to the lighting
system at the locks, mainly within the locks'
chambers; the deepening of the Canal entrances at
both the Atlantic and Pacific sides; the replacement
of the tugboat fleet; the optimization of the
lockage at Gatun Locks; the straightening and
widening of the Gaillard Cut; and the
establishment of tie-up stations within the
Cut. The improvements to the lighting system
include the replacement of the high masts and
their lights with new ones that provide better
illumination, and the installation of lamps in
the locks' chambers to improve nighttime
visibility. This would allow the transit of
daylight-restricted vessels through the locks,
resulting in an increase in tonnage.
The tugboat replacement program includes
the acquisition of seven tugboats in fiscal year
2005, and one in fiscal year 2006. These
tugboats are scheduled to be delivered within
the next two years. The current tugboat fleet
is made up of 24 units. The tie-up stations
will be used for docking transiting vessels,
and will offer shelter to vessels with
mechanical problems or in the event of fog or
accidents at the Cut. Furthermore, these
stations will increase the transit capacity by
maximizing the use of the Pacific Locks,
particularly at Pedro Miguel. With the
implementation of this program, the Canal
will attain the necessary capacity to respond
to the projected demand up to the year
-- e On g o A diss o Ba
The eleventh meeting of the Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) Advisory Board was held in Panama, on June
28-29, 2005. The meeting was headed by Mr. William
O'Neil, Chairman of the Advisory Board and by His
Excellency Ricaurte Vasquez M., ACP Chairman of the
Board of Directors.
The Advisory Board was informed regarding maritime
operations, traffic and tolls, and financial status of the
Panama Canal enterprise as well as the progress of
the modernization program and the studies leading to
the master plan for the waterway's expansion.
Advisory Board meeting.
th Pa am aa'
Api An Excptina
Cal at MIT
Paam Cana CEO
Speaks at a -
Paam Caa* ebSt
Dine Mai. ae
More Large Vessels Transiting
The Panama Canal recorded 8,645 oceangoing transits for
the first eight months of fiscal year 2005, a 1.8 percent
increase from the 8,489 oceangoing transits recorded during
the same period of fiscal year 2004.
Panamax-size vessels, those 100-feet and over in beam,
registered 3,818 transits a rise of 6.4 percent over the
same period last year. Panamax vessels currently represent
44.2 percent of the total number of oceangoing transits.
The ACP constantly monitors the growth in the number of
transits of Panamax vessels and takes appropriate action to
ensure that it has sufficient capacity to accommodate the
demand for the service.
The chart below illustrates a monthly comparative
breakdown by fiscal year:
Oct. 428 493 15.2%
Nov. 464 482 3.9%
Dec. 468 469 0.2%
Jan. 437 475 8.7%
Feb. 420 438 4.3%
Mar. 453 483 6.6%
Apr. 445 486 9.2%
May 473 492 4.0%
Total 3588 3818 6 4%
April An Exceptional Month for
Tankers through the
During the month of April, a total of 152 tankers transited the
waterway. Moreover, 64.5 percent of these transits were by
Panamax sized vessels, a record for the last 11 years.
Average tanker vessels have increased in size dramatically in
the past several years. In fiscal year 2004, the annual
average vessel size rose from 16,683 PC/UMS tons to
18,785. So far, for fiscal year 2005, the average vessel size
of tankers is 19,332 PC/UMS tons, and for the month of April
alone, it reached an average size of 21,007 tons.
19,000 18,785 ,
u 17,839 18,572
18,000 - /
17000 16___ -, 6oo91 1667
13,000 -e- Avarage Tanker Size in April
12,000 Average Tanker Size (Annual)
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
The exceptional traffic through the Canal in the month of April
reflects that tanker vessels were experiencing a strong arbitrage
trade, as a result of the increase in the price index differentials for
crude and petroleum products (World Texas Intermediate WTI and
During the last seven years, the average size of tanker
vessels has increased.
Improvements to the Transit
In recent months the ACP has closely monitored booking slot
demand. As a result, the number of booking slots has been
adjusted to better respond to such demand. In December
2004, a 13th slot during the third period was made available
for restricted supers (vessels of more than 91' in beam).
In late March, a 9th booking slot was temporarily made
available during the third period for regular (non-restricted)
vessels to satisfy a seasonal peak in slot demand. This 9th
booking slot for regular (non-restricted) vessels was offered
until June 15, 2005.
These changes have allowed the ACP to improve the quality of
service offered to its clients. Out of the 653 booked vessels
that transited during the month of May, only one did not
transit within the required 18 hours, for a compliance rate of
99.85 percent. The booking slot utilization was 96.04 percent
for the period.
Container vessel transiting the locks.
Closing of the 2004-2005
The Panama Canal cruise season, which runs from September
through May, officially closed on May 31, 2005. A total of 224
cruise vessels transited the waterway, offering more than
248,000 passengers the opportunity of experiencing the
Canal's superb views and outstanding engineering. A number
of vessels from renowned cruise lines made their inaugural
trans-canal transits during this season.
Among those coming for the first time were: the Paradise, the
Pacific Princess, the Norwegian Spirit, the Pride of America,
the Silver Shadow, the Insignia, the MSC Opera and the
Disney Magic. Some of the cruise vessels that transit the
Canal also provided passengers with shore excursions, which
included visits to modern Panama City, historic Spanish forts,
Indian villages and the brand new Miraflores Visitors' Center
where tourists can relive the saga of the French and American
efforts to build an interoceanic Canal, and to learn more about
the functioning of the waterway and the ecology that
surrounds the area.
For additional information, visit our web site at
Post-Panamax Vessel Calls at MIT
On July 1st, the Kirsten Maersk, a 6,000 TEU Maersk Sealand
Post-Panamax vessel, arrived at Manzanillo International
Terminal (MIT) to unload 1,400 refrigerated empties and
tranship another 300 containers. From MIT, the containers
were transported by rail to Panama Ports in Balboa where they
were shipped to Chile. The Kirsten Maersk is being redeployed
from the AE2 service, in the Europe-Southern Asia trade lane,
to the TP9 service, which serves East Asia -West Coast of the
United States. Currently, there are no Post-Panamax liner
services deployed in the transatlantic and serving the
Caribbean, Panama or the East Coast of North America.
The Kirsten Maersk unloads containers at MIT facilities.
SCEDL OF LOK OUAE CAENA YEAR 2005
Dates.. Ouag Day I .ial e I Per iulIG nTrni aaiy Sau
July 19-23, 2005
August 17-20, 2005
September 13-20, 2005
5 Lane Outage (5 days)
Lane Outage (4 days)
Lane Outage(5 days)
Lane with restrictions (5 days)
Lane Outage(4 days)
Lane with restrictions (8 days)
Lane Outage (8 days)
For additiiaI inforration,.isit our Neb site~ -.w.N pancanal comn
26 28 (5d)
26 28 (4d)
26 28 (8d)
Panama Canal CEO Speaks at
On April 10 and 11 of 2005, ACP Administrator and CEO,
Alberto Aleman Zubieta, participated in the 46th Annual
Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB). The IDB Annual Meeting,
which took place in Okinawa, Japan, convened nearly
7,000 participants, among them official delegates and
special guests from the civil society, private sector and
Mr. Aleman Zubieta briefed the participants on trends
associated with growth of world trade, the Canal's
operational metrics and the current status of its long-
term business plan. He also spoke of the growth of
Panama's maritime industry, including signs that Panama
is becoming a true maritime hub.
Panama Canal Web Site
Where can you see an interactive demonstration of how
the Panama Canal works? Where can you see a massive
container ship transit the Miraflores Locks in real-time
without flying to Panama? The answers are at the click of
your mouse at www.pancanal.com.
From historical facts to shipping statistics, from reserving
a Canal transit to learning about the Canal Watershed -
Pancanal.com has it all. It is no wonder that it recently
received a coveted award from the American Association
of Webmasters (AAWM).
The ACP received a gold prize from the AAWM for its web
site design and layout, which, "in a user-friendly way,
displays quality content for visitors." Because of this
recognition, the ACP will compete for the 2005 Web site of
the Year award.
Pancanal.com is a useful tool to customers, the maritime
industry and anyone interested in this engineering
Disney Magic Makes Inaugural
Transit Through the Panama Canal
Mickey Mouse has come a long way from "Steamboat Willie."
Moving from riverboats to cruise ships, Mickey's ship, the
Disney Magic, crossed the Panama Canal on Friday, May 20,
marking the ship's first-ever cruise through the engineering
marvel. And, it happened just in time to celebrate Disneyland's
50th Anniversary. Greeting the Disney Magic was Dr. Stanley
Muschett, manager of executive administration at the ACP, who
presented the ship's captain with a plaque on behalf of theACP.
Experiencing the eighth wonder of the world, Mickey Mouse poses aboard
the Disney Magic as they make their way through the Panama Canal to the
Pacific. To the right of Mickey are the Miraflores Visitors' Center and the
Mirafloress Locks Control Center.
Port of Virginia and Norfolk
Southern Inform the ACP of their
On June 30, 2004, Tom Capozzi, Senior Marketing Director of
the Virginia Port Authority, and Jeffrey Heller, Assistant Vice
President of International Marketing of Norfolk Southern
Corporation, made a presentation to ACP managers on their
companies' plans to cope with the growth in the demand of all-
water services. The presentation is part of the activities being
undertaken in accordance with the Memorandum of
Understanding subscribed between the Virginia Port Authority
and the ACP.
We wan you comet fo mor inforatio
Your comments and suggestions are very importantto us. 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
SEE THIS NEWSLETTER ON THE ACP WEB SITE AT: www.pancanal.com
(then click on Virtual Newsrooms)