Title: Panama Canal Customer newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099413/00005
 Material Information
Title: Panama Canal Customer newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Autoridad del Canal de Panama
Place of Publication: Balboa, Panama
Publication Date: December 2000
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099413
Volume ID: VID00005
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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Pana a Canal ACP

December 2000

Canal Improves Efficiency And Safety Indicators

During the first year under
Panamanian administration, the Panama
Canal workforce performed
exceptionally well, managing record
transits by Panamax vessels and, at the
same time, achieving an excellent safety
record (16 accidents during transits
under the command of a Canal pilot).
This record represents 0.16 percent of
total transits and it is below the figures
recorded for the past two years.
According to reports provided by the
Panama Canal Authority Board of Local
Inspectors, from a total of 9,762 ships
that transited the Canal between January
and September, only 16 suffered
accidents. During that period in 1999,
the accident rate was 0.2 percent, while
in 1998, itwas 0.18 percent.

It is noteworthy that the safety
record was achieved while the
Gaillard Cut widening efforts are
underway. Transits by Panamax
vessels require great coordination
between the pilots assigned to the ships
and the personnel and equipment
working in the Cut-widening project,
24 hours aday.
At present, the Panama Canal has
289 pilots, of which 264 are
Panamanians. The progressive
transition to this large number of
Panamanian pilots was seamless due
to the fact that 97 percent of the
workforce was already Panamanian by
the time the Canal was turned over to
Panama. The experience and training
of the Canal pilots are key factors that

have contributed to reduce the number
of accidents, in spite of the increase of
Panama Canal Universal Measurement
System (PC/UMS) tonnage.
In addition, the professionalism
displayed by the Canal workforce,
coupled with the technological
advances already in place, permitted
reducing Canal Waters Time (CWT) from
33 to 29.7 hours, thus demonstrating the
commitment of all with the safe and
efficient operations of the Panama
Canal. There is no doubt that Panama
can do it and can do it well. Our
performance during these first months of
Panamanian administration is a
testimonial of our deeds, and we are
proud to say this to the maritime

Personalities Express Their Views About The Panama
The Latin American Presidents and Chiefs of State, gathered in Panama for the X
Latin American Summit held November 17 to 18, 2000, certified the efficient
operation of the Panama Canal under Panamanian stewardship, the full
consolidation of the Republic of Panama as a sovereign State, and the strengthening
of its national identity and democratic vocation, as essential elements to foster and
strengthen the relations and historic ties that bound the Latin American community
of nations. The written statement signed by the Latin American Presidents and Chiefs
of State, evidenced the satisfaction of these dignitaries for the efficient operation of
the waterway under Panamanian stewardship and the measures taken by the
Panamanian Governmentto insurethe safe, uninterrupted and efficient operation of
the Panama Canal and its modernization plans to continue serving world trade and

Canal Administration
Former United States President
James Carter, during a recent visit to this
country, assured that Panama is
managing the Canal as well as the U.S.
government or even better, referring to
the first year of Panamanian stewardship
of the waterway. Carter, who made the
historical decision of turning over the
Canal to Panamanians through the
signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaty of
1977, recognized the admirable work of
the people of Panama who received this
great feat of engineering and managed it,
during this first year, beyond
Engineer Gilberto Guardia, the first
Panamanian Administrator of the
Panama Canal and the first foreign
national to serve as chief executive
officer of a U.S. agency, expressed
satisfaction and pride of the
achievements and abilities
demonstrated by the Canal
administration and its workforce in the
stewardship of the waterway. Mr.
Guardia urged Panamanians to continue
with the studies to expand the Canal
watershed and to complete those leading
to the next Canal expansion.

Sustained Growth of Panamax-Size Vessel Transits

Transits by Panamax-size vessels,
those of 100-feet beam or more and the
largest vessels that can transit the
Panama Canal, maintained their
increasing trend and rose 6.5 percent
during the first eleven months of
calendar year 2000. During the January
to November period, the Panama Canal
reported 4,048 transits by Panamax-size
vessels, 247 more transits than those
reported duringthe same period in 1999.
During the period in review, Panamax-
size vessel transits represented 32% of
total transits and 35.7% of total
oceangoing commercial transits. This
increasing trend started in the early
1970's, but at that time Panamax vessels
accounted for only 2.0 percent of total
transits. Transits by containership
vessels increased by an impressive
10.3% maintaining their upward trend,
and surpassing the average growth rate
of 8.9 percent depicted during the last 4
years. Accordingly, total transits
depicted a decline of 2.5 percent during
the period January through November

2000 when 323 less
transits were
r e p o r t e d ,
representing a loss
of almost a vessel Month 10
per day, as compared
to the same period Jan
during the previous Feb
year. T h e
i n c r e a s i n g
proportion of transits Apr
by Panamax-size May
vessels impacts Jun
negatively on Canal Jul
capacity as a Aug
consequence of the
one-way traffic Sep
restriction for large Oct
vessels in the Nov
Gaillard Cut. The Total
accelerated Gaillard
Cut Widening
Program, scheduled
for completion in December 2001,
will allow for flexible two-way traffic
of wide-beam vessels in the Cut

0' Beam and Over


- i


1999 2000
1,262 1,155
1,245 1,188
1,359 1,346
1,386 1,332
1,284 1,168
1,062 1,124
1,120 1,040
1,121 1,045
965 1,013
1,092 1,125
1,026 1,063
12,922 12,599

without compromising
increasing Canal capacity.

safety, thus

Canal Transits and Cargo Information

Major Canal Cargo Flows [ 1999
Principal Commodities January November 2000
= =o =
o -

Comparative Data for Selected Commodities (in long tons)
Commodity January to November %change
1999 2000
Refrigerated Foods 6,624,251 6,976,101 5.31
Grains 37,840,333 36,121,813 (4.54)
Containerized Cargo 27,823,282 31,526,077 13.31
Petroleum and Products 25,419,653 26,632,524 4.77
Manufactures of Iron and Steel 10,220,607 10,628,749 3.99
Coal and Coke (excludes petroleum coke) 8,302,752 8,794,940 5.93
Lumber and Products 8,673,744 8,561,008 (1.30)

During the period January to November of
calendar year 2000, shipments of grain, the leading
Canal commodity group, decreased by 4.5 percent
to 36.1 million long tons from the 37.8 millions
registered during the same period in calendar year
1999. This drop in grain shipments reflects six
consecutive monthly declines from May to
October, only reverted by a 1 percent increase
posted in November. A steady supply of corn from
China to the Asian market, as well as the increasing
use of corn substitutes for animal feeding in South
Korea and Japan, have negatively affected U.S. corn
exports to Asian countries through the Panama
Canal. Transits by full-containerships remained
strong. Containerized cargo flow grew by 13.3%
registering 31.5 million long tons from the 27.8
millions reported in 1999. The second leading
commodity group drove an increase of 13.5% in
tolls collection and accounted for 22.6% of the total
tolls generated by transit operations. Petroleum and
its products, the third leading commodity group,
registered 26.6 million of long tons representing an
increase of almost 4.8 percent as compared to the
25.4 millions registered during the same period in
1999. The above chart shows the major Canal
commodity flows for the first eleven months period
of FY 1999-2000.

Administrator to Attend the World Economic Forum Outreach Efforts

The Panama Canal Administrator,
Mr. Alberto Alemin Zubieta, has been
invited to participate in the Annual
Meeting 2001 of the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland from
January 25 to 30.
The annual meeting of the World
Economic Forum has emerged as the top
international event bringing together
business and political leaders from
around the world, along with top
academic experts, media leaders and
representatives from civil society as key
partners sharing analysis, insights and
experiences to assess the implications of
rapid changes in the global economic,
political and social environment. This
year's meeting will integrate views and
leaders from different regions around
key themes, such as: Addressing the

Globalization Backlash, Shaping the
Global Corporation, The Second
Phase of the Digital Revolution, and
Global Business: Values-Free or
Mr. Aleman Zubieta will
participate in the Governors Meeting
for the Transport Services Industry
where chief executives of the industry,
including couriers, logistics providers,
posts, ocean shipping and ports, rail,
air freight and trucking, will discuss the
important developments and trends in
the industry and explore strategic,
non-competitive issues that affect the
industry and society at large.
For more information regarding
the World Economic Forum visit its
website at: http://www.weforum.org

Canal's Advisory Board will Meet in Panama

The Panama Canal Authority
Advisory Board will meet in Panama
from February 14 to 16, 2001. The
meeting will be presided by the
Chairman of the Board, Mr. William
O'Neil, Secretary General of the
International Maritime Organization
(IMO). Ms. Lillian Borrone of the Port
Authority of New York/New Jersey;
Gerhard Kurz of Hvide Marine Inc.; Y.F.
Chang of Evergreen Marine Corp.;
Phillip Embiricos of Embiricos
Shipbrokers; Joe Reeder of Greenberg

Traurig; Tommy Thomsen of Maersk
Sealand; Andronico Luksic of Luksic
Companies and Michael Barnes of the
Panama-US Business Council have
confirmed their participation. This
will be the third meeting of the
Advisory Board since its inauguration
in December 1999, and will give the
Board members the opportunity to
observe firsthand the advancements in
the Panama Canal modernization and
capacity enhancement program.

Transportation Symposium

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) attended the International Transportation
Symposium held in October in Washington, D. C. Mr. Henry Stec, manager of the
Canal's electronics and telecommunications division, made a presentation regard-
ing the CTAN system, which is utilized by the ACP to monitor transiting vessels and
Canal floating equipment.
The CTAN is part of the Enhanced Vessel Traffic Management System, a state-of-
the-art system designed to achieve maximum safety and efficiency during Canal
transits, which provides a method for the integrated management of traffic and transit
resources, incorporating the latest technological advancements in the areas of global
positioning systems and telecommunications.
During the International Transportation Symposium, approximately 1,000
representatives from 95 countries met to discuss tendencies in transportation in the
new millennium.

As part of its intensified outreach
program, the Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) participated in the Latin Ports and
Shipping 2000 Conference and
Exhibition held in Miami Beach, Florida,
from November 14 through 16. Mr.
Anthony Garcia, Canal's Customer
Relations Manager, along with
representatives of the Manzanillo
International Terminal Panama, the
Panama Canal Railway Company, and
the Interoceanic Region Authority
participated as guest speaker and
panelist in the module Modal Integration
in Freight Transport: A Demonstration Of
How A Good Intermodal Network Can
Help Leverage Business Opportunities
For Ports And Terminal Operators.
From January 7-11, Mr. Rodolfo R.
Sabonge, the Canal Corporate Planning
and Marketing Director, will be
participating in the 80th Annual Meeting
of the Transportation Research Board to
be held in Washington, D.C.. TRB's
annual meeting attracts more than 8,000
transportation professionals from all
over the world as it offers an
unparalleled opportunity to share
knowledge and perspectives with
colleagues in the transportation industry
and gain a better understanding of the
latest developments in the transportation
research, policy and practice. Mr.
Sabonge has been appointed as a
member of the Task Force on
Agricultural Transportation representing
the Panama Canal Authority.

Telex is History
Technological changes in telecom-
munications, brought about by the
widespread use of fax machines and
electronic mail, have prompted the
Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to
eliminate the use of the telex for purposes
of communicating with shipping lines
and others in the transportation sector.
The announcement was made by the
Canal's Director of Maritime Operations,
Mr. Jorge Quijano, at a meeting in early
December with representatives from the
Panama Chamber of Shipping. Mr.
Quijano noted that telex equipment was
only maintained by the ACP at the
request of a few in the shipping industry.
He added that the Canal has not received
any telex communications in several


A New Cruise Destination

Government officials and business
leaders hope cruise ships will soon begin
making Panama a port of call. As a lure
for the cruise industry, during the month
of October two important cruise
terminals were inaugurated at the
Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal,
the Cristobal Cruise Terminal Pier 6,
and the Port of Colon.
For a long time Panama has wanted
to develop tourism as a major source of
revenue. Panama has comparative
advantages over other ports in the
Caribbean, mainly because it is located
outside the hurricane belt; and because it
provides the unique experience of two
oceans on one port of call. Most cruise
lines serving the Alaskan and Caribbean
routes already provide transits through
the Panama Canal.
In 1998 the Panama Canal Authority
inaugurated the Gatun Yatch Club on the
banks of Gatun Lake near the locks at the
Atlantic entrance to the Canal. The
Gatun Yatch Club offers tourist
embarking/disembarking dock facilities

and a complex for limited recreational
activities. Both Ports of Colon and
Cristobal were developed for vessels
larger than those berthing at the Gatun
Yatch Club. The new ports on the
Atlantic offer tourists the opportunity
to visit the Canal plus full-day
excursions, shopping, entertainment,
cultural events and, access to Panama
City on the Pacific and Colon on the

Atlantic, with their many historical sites
and attractions.
The cruise industry is growing
steadily. There are several investments
underway in the country to take
advantage of this fast growing industry
and to position Panama as one of the
most attractive tourist destinations in the

"Norwegian Wind" a Norwegian
Cruise Line at Cristobal Cruise
Terminal Pier 6. This 1,750
passengers and 650 crew members
Panamax vessel called at Pier 6 for
the first time on December 12, 2000.
Panama Ports Company (PPC), a
member of Hutchison Port Holdings,
operates the Port of Cristobal.

We want your comments
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