Title: Panama Canal Customer newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099413/00010
 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: March 2002
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099413
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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March 2002

Brazil President Cardoso and Panama President Moscoso
Launched Deepening ff Gatun Lake

On March 6, Brazil President Fernando
Henrique Cardoso and Panama
President Mireya Moscoso launched the
Panama Canal's channel deepening
project by setting off a spectacular blast
that marked yet another milestone in the
famous waterway's history. The
fragmentation blast symbolized the
beginning of a seven-year program to
deepen the channel by one meter
(3 feet). This is the first major
improvement project scheduled by the
Panama Canal this century.
President Cardoso visited Panama to
further strengthen the ties between the
two nations. During President
Moscoso's trip to Brasilia last year, high-
ranking government officials expressed
special interest in the future expansion
plans of the Panama Canal. The
waterway constitutes a vital artery for
fueling Brazil's maritime trade
development, particularly in the
northeastern area, which has the fastest
growth rate, since the Canal represents
the most economic route for cargo
transportation to Asian markets.
During the ceremony that initiated the
project at Gatun Lake, Administrator
Alberto Alemin Zubieta pointed out the
importance of the project to increase the
waterway's efficiency and improve the
service provided to the world maritime
The project's goal is to increase Gatun
Lake's water storage capacity by 45
percent and augment the Canal's
watershed water output. Deepening the
channel will benefit Canal customers by
enabling a more efficient draft
administration and by reducing the
impact of water shortages on shipping.
Additional storage capacity will also
permit the Canal to meet long-term
demand for potable water.
The deepening of the channel will be
completed using available ACP
resources. The project will require
drilling and blasting for rock material
and will help the Canal maintain existing

reliability levels. However, planning is
now underway to prepare the
waterway for future shipping needs. A
long-term Master Plan is being
prepared to roll out a progressive,
time-phased program of expansion
projects that will level Canal traffic
growth. The ACP plans to provide
continuous service to customers and
keep the waterway at the forefront of
world trade routes.

The Panama Canal
The World Trade

Canal Transits and Cargo Information

Available statistics for the five-month
period (October-February) of fiscal year
2002 recorded a 4.3 percent decline in
commercial cargo tonnage to 78.3
million long tons from the 81.8 million
recorded during the same period of
fiscal year 2001, as the world's
deteriorated economy continued to
negatively impact on Canal traffic. On
the one hand, the weak performance
during this period was evident in a
number of bulk-type and specialized
commodities including grains,
petroleum and petroleum products, coal
and coke, lumber and products,
chemicals and petrochemicals, and
phosphates and fertilizers. On the other
hand, commodities with tonnage
increases consisted of containerized
cargo, ores and metals, manufactures of
iron and steel, refrigerated products, and
autos, accessories and parts. Grain, the

principal bulk commodity transported
through the Panama Canal, recorded a
3.1 percent decrease to 16.7 million
long tons relative to the same period
during fiscal year 2001. This decline
in shipments was significant in
October, particularly because of the
closure of one lane at Gatun Locks for
maintenance and the slower pace of
United States exports after the terrorist
attacks on September 11th that
prompted tighter security measures at
U.S. ports. Containerized cargo
maintained its place as the second
most important commodity, as
tonnage levels for the first five months
of the fiscal year rose by 4.5 percent to
14.9 million long tons. During this
five-month period, cargo flow on the
principal two-way trade route of Asia
and East Coast U.S. has risen by 11.1
per cent from previous year level.

Overall, containerized cargo holds a
19.0 percent share of total Canal cargo
tonnage. Petroleum and petroleum
products, third commodity group in
importance for the Canal, declined by
13.1 percent to 11.3 million long tons.
The world economic recession has
caused an accumulation of inventories in
industrialized nations, which has
contributed to the weakening of demand.
Moreover, the September 11th terrorist
attacks in the United States directly
resulted in a significant contraction in the
demand for jet fuel. Another factor that
has caused a negative influence on this
segment is the moderate winter
temperatures that have reduced the
demand for heating oil.
Cargo tonnage comparisons for the first
five months of fiscal years 2002 and 2001
are illustrated in the chart below.

Major Canal Cargo Flows October-February


0 FY 2001








0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000 18,000 20,000
Thousand Long Tons

Canal Traffic Update

Preliminary traffic statistics for the first
five months (October February) of fiscal
year 2002 registered a total of 4,872
oceangoing transits, a 4.9 percent short
fall from the 5,125 transits recorded
duringthe same period the year before.
Transits by Panamax-size vessels, the
largest that can fit Canal locks, totaled
1,855 with a 3.1 percent decrease from
the 1,915 transits in fiscal year 2001.

During this five-month period,
Panamax-size vessel transits held a
38.1 per cent share of total oceangoing



Fifth Meeting of Advisory Board Concludes Successfully

With an unprecedented attendance, the
fifth meeting of the Panama Canal
Authority Advisory Board concluded
successfully, after two days of intense
discussions between its members and
the members of the Board of Directors of
the ACP.
William A. O'Neil, Secretary General of
the International Maritime Organization,
and Chairman of the Advisory Board,
congratulated the ACP for its excellent
administration of the waterway since its
transfer to Panama, and for its important
achievements, such as the decrease in
the accident rate and in Canal Waters
Time, as well as the completion in
advance and with significant savings of
the Gaillard Cut widening. With the

intent of meeting the increasing demand
of international commercial maritime
trade, the Advisory Board encouraged
Canal executives to materialize, as soon
as possible, the benefits that can be
derived from the Cut widening, such as
the 20% increase in operating capacity,
by enabling simultaneous, unrestricted
transit of two Panamax vessels through
Gaillard Cut, and also the increased
flexibility scheduling transits through the
The Advisory Board especially praised
the introduction of improvements and
stricter security measures that were
incorporated into the organization's
security program immediately after the
September 11 terrorist acts. The
Advisory Board encouraged the ACP to
follow closely the IMO meetings and the
corresponding recommendations on
terrorist threats and suppression.
Among other aspects, the Advisory
Board and the Board of Directors of the
ACP analyzed the progress of the current
modernization and improvement
programs, expansion plans, possible
revisions of the tolls structure, and
dredging plans for the Pacific entrance to
the Canal.

Canal executives informed the
Advisory Board on the progress of the
plansto install signals and other aidsto
navigation, that will make Gaillard Cut
the maritime waterway with the best
system of signals in the world. This
investment will increase the safety of
vessel transits, particularly Panamax
vessels under foggy conditions, and
other conditions that reduce visibility.
The Advisory Board was also informed
of the contract recently awarded to
Kongsberg Norcontrol, Inc., to update
the new 3602 full-bridge simulator, for
the continuous specialized training of
Canal maritime operations personnel.
All the members of the ACP Board of
Directors, the Administrator, Deputy
Administrator, and management team
participated in the meeting. Members
of the Advisory Board who
participated were Flemming Jacobs,
President and CEO of NOL Group;
Stephan Schmidheiny, President of
FUNDES International; Albert
Nahmad, former member of the Board
of Directors of the Panama Canal
Commission and President and CEO of
Watsco, Inc.; Salvador Jurado,
President of Building Components
Group, Inc.; Tommy Thomsen, partner
in A.P. Moeller (Maersk Sealand);
Gerhard Kurz, President and CEO of
Seabulk International; Philip A.
Embiricos, Director of Embiricos
Shipbrokers, Ltd.; Joe Reeder, partner
in Greenberg Traurig, and former
Chairman of the Board of Directors of
the Panama Canal Commission.
William O'Neil, Secretary General of
the IMO, was re-elected as Chairman
ofthe Advisory Board until 2004.
The fifth meeting of the Advisory
Board followed the Panama Maritime
VI Conference, organized by the
Panamanian Association of Maritime
Law and the Panama Chamber of
Shipping, during which important
Canal users and clients praised the
country for its notable administration
and operation of the inter-oceanic
waterway. The members of the
Advisory Board, leaders of the
maritime community and
international trade, emphasized the
need for an effective leadership of the
country, in view of its responsibility as
a world maritime center, with the
world's largest shipping registry, and

again encouraged the Canal
administration to continue to promote
the development of a national maritime
The next meeting of the Advisory Board
will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
on September 19 and 20 of this year.

Kudos to Advisory
Board Members
International Maritime Organization
Secretary-General and Chairman of
the Panama Canal Authority Advisory
Board, His Excellency, Mr. William
O'Neil, will be honored with the
"Lifetime Achievement Award" from
the providers in the communications
and information technology in
shipping for steering the introduction
of the Global Maritime Distress &
Safety System, thus contributing to
saving life at sea. The award will be
presented during The 6th
International Conference
Communication & IT in Shipping-
CITIS 2002 on March 19 in London.
Mr. Armando Codina has been
elected to the General Motors
Corporation Board of Directors.
Currently the Chairman and CEO of
Codina Group, a privately owned
company with expertise in
development, construction,
brokerage, management, and
consulting services located in Miami,
Florida, Armando Codina is a
distinguished member of the Panama
Canal Authority Advisory Board.
The Florida Trend Magazine
recognized Codina Group as the
largest commercial developer in the
State of Florida. Armando Codina, the
American Red Cross Humanitarian of
the Year 2000, has been recognized
as the Free Enterpriser of the Year
1999 from the Florida Council on
Economic Education; Entrepreneur of
the Year from the Wharton School;
and Business Leadership Hall of Fame
by Junior Achievement.
The Panama Canal Authority staff
joins in congratulating Armando
Codina and William O'Neil on the
above recognitions testimonial of
their outstanding leadership qualities.

A World Class Visitors' Center

In June 2002, the Panama Canal
Authority will inaugurate its new and
impressive visitors center complex
located at Miraflores Locks, on the
Canal's Pacific entrance. At a cost of 5.5
million dollars, the complex will be a
spectacular four-story structure with
balconies that will provide a magnificent
view of the locks and its surroundings.
The structure will include exhibit areas, a
conference room, theater with capacity
for 250 persons, an aquarium, restaurant,
snack bar, and a gift shop.
Fascinating multimedia presentations on
Canal history, operations, and
maintenance will be featured at the new
theater, while all visitors will continue to
enjoy live presentations by

Canal's New CFO Named

The Panama
(ACP) has
Engineer Jose
Barrios Ng as
its new Chief
Officer. This
function was
carried out by
the present
Administrator, Dr. RicaurteVasquez M.
Mr. Barrios holds a degree in Electrical
Engineeering from Louisiana State
University, a Master's Degree in
Electrical Engineering from the Georgia
Institute of Technology, and a Master's

knowledgeable Panama Canal guides
and learn interesting facts about the
Visitors will also have a choice of
grabbing a quick bite at the center's
snack bar or enjoying a full-course
meal at the five-star restaurant. The
gift shop will offer visitors with
exclusive Canal souvenirs and
memorabilia to take home to friends
and family, as well as fine jewelry.
Visiting the center a remarkable area
full of interactive exhibits about the
waterway's past, present, and future -
will be a must during your next stop in

Degree in Economic Engineering from
the University of California (UCLA).
He also studied Finance at the
Massachussetts Institute of
Technology (MIT).
Alberto Aleman Zubieta, ACP
Administrator, indicated that "the
incorporation of Engineer Barrios into
the ACP management team will
enable the Deputy Administrator, Dr.
Ricaurte Vasquez M., to assume the
responsibilty of coordinating the
work, studies, and analyses of the
Canal Expansion Project, which is a
priority issue forthe organization."
Engineer Barrios was previously
Executive Vice-President of Finance of
Cable & Wireless, and Chief Financial
Officer of the Cerveceria Nacional,
S.A. His experience in international
operations include Central America,

Data Collection Efforts

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is
seeking alternatives to improve the
process of filling out forms needed to
comply with data collection required for
transits through the Panama Canal.
Forms such as the Cargo Declaration
(CD) and the Ship Information and
Quarantine (SIQD) require from the
vessel Masters and officers to manually
enter the necessary information. This
process is time consuming and prone to
human mistakes, which may translate
into costly delays.
To simplify the procedure, we are
evaluating the feasibility of automating
the information exchange processes;
therefore, we will be conducting a
survey with the purpose of determining
customer preferences and the best
course of action for establishing a
channel of electronic data interchange
(EDI) and collection. Customer feedback
will enable the ACP to present to Canal
customers with an efficient data
exchange service that also satisfies users
The ACP will also conduct important
customer surveys beginning in late May.
Customer cooperation will help ensure
that the Panama Canal has an accurate
and up-to-date database to
communicate with its customers

the United States, Canada, China,
Taiwan, and Japan. He also held
executive positions in Esso Standard Oil
He currently teaches Business Strategy
and Corporate Finance in the Master's
Degree Programs of the Latin American
University of Science and Technology
(ULACIT) and the University of
Louisville- Panama.


Canal Excellence in Operations Praised during Panama Maritime VI

The 6th Panama Maritime World
Conference and Exhibition held in
Panama from February 24 to 27 attracted
more than 300 delegates from over 30
countries from Asia, the Americas, and
Europe. Hosted by the Maritime Law
Association and the Panama Chamber of
Shipping, the conference allowed
Panama to display the country's
investment opportunities in the maritime
sector, including the Panama Canal, the
nation's merchant fleet, and port
During the conference, His Excellency
Mr. William A. O'Neil, Secretary
General of the International Maritime
Organization, commended Panama
Canal Authority executives on their
recent presentation on the Panama
Canal given in London regarding transit
safety and risk management at the
waterway. He also commended them
on the high quality service and effective
management demonstrated during these
two years of operations after the transfer

of the Panama Canal to the Republic of
Mr. O'Neil also spoke about Panama's
Maritime sector, highlighting that the
Panama Canal is a vital artery for the
world's economy and that offering
high quality maritime services to world
shipping, both through the Panama
Canal and its flag registry, is one of
Panama's major responsibilities.
Speakers at the Canal user's forum
praised the Canal performance since
its transfer to Panamanian stewardship
in 1999. A representative from
Ecuador stated that all pledges made in
1999 have been fulfilled over 80
percent of Ecuador's economy relies
on the Canal, particularly banana and
oil exports. Another Canal client in
the container industry pointed out that
the industry has filed fewer claims
under Panamanian administration
than before, and added that he is very
satisfied with the new late fee adopted
for the booking system, as it enables

vessels to continue with their transit
plans despite late arrivals in Canal
Canal Administrator Alberto Alemin
Zubieta assured the audience that Canal
employees are working very hard and
aiming very high to make the waterway
safer, more efficient, and cost-effective
to world shipping. He also highlighted
the Canal's commitment to remain as a
cornerstone of global transportation.
The Canal's Panamanian administration
has been highly effective in providing
solutions to problems related to
shipping, according to business and
maritime industry leaders speaking at
the Panama Maritime Conference.
They also pointed out that the Canal's
future expansion plans are in line with
Panama's goal of becoming a leading
transshipment hub in the region.

World's Maritime Economists to Meet in Panama

The ACP will host the annual meeting
and conference of the International
Association of Maritime Economists
(IAME) from November 13-15, 2002.
For the first time, the IAME annual
meeting will be held in Latin America,
making it a unique opportunity for Pa-
nama's maritime community to actively
participate in this conference.
The conference theme "Maritime
Economics: Setting the foundations for
port and shipping policies" appears
particularly appropriate in view of the
maritime activities currently being
discussed in Panama, including
Panama's National Maritime Strategy
and the Panama Canal expansion
studies. The topics to be addressed
during the conference include the
supply and demand for nautical officers,
an economic impact analysis, an
organizational approach to port
efficiency, challenges to intermodal
chains, hub port locations, IT systems,
economies of scale in shipping, and the
safety record maintained by open
registries. The Conference's
International Steering Committee has

accepted 120 different proposals for
papers written by 178 authors and co-
authors from 35 countries.
"We are overwhelmed by the large
number of responses to our request for
papers. Although this implies more
work than expected for the ACP, we
are actually very happy about this
positive feedback," says Rodolfo
Sabonge, ACP Director of Corporate
Planning and Marketing. The ACP is
proud of the trust that the international
community of maritime economists
has bestowed in Panama and its Canal
Authority. Last year, the meeting was
held in Hong Kong.
Other organizations supporting this
event include the Panama Maritime
Authority, Trainmar Panama, the
Universidad Latinoamericana de
Ciencias y Tecnologia, the Panama
Chamber of Shipping, the City of
Knowledge, and the United Nations
Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The international steering committee
is made up of twenty-four well-known
maritime economists, representing a

wide range of universities and
international organizations.
For more information, please visit

Visits by Clients and Users
On January 19, 2002, Administrator
Alberto Alemin Zubieta welcomed
Honorable Ives Thibault De Silguy,
Minister Plenipotentiary of the French
Government and member of the Counsel
Committee of the Suez Canal. During
his visit, Mr. De Silguy over flew the
Canal surroundings by helicopter,
transited through the Gaillard Cut, and
toured the Miraflores Locks, where the
Director of Engineering and Projects,
Agustin Arias, made a presentation on
the Canal Expansion Project.
Canal Administrator visited with Senator
Richard Polanco of the State of California
and his delegation at the Administration
Building on January 23, 2002.
On January 29, 2002, Canal
Administrator welcomed a delegation
headed by Lieutenant General Robert B.
Flowers, US Army Corps of Engineers.
Upon arrival at the Miraflores Locks, Mr.
Jorge Quijano, Maritime Operations
Director, briefed the delegation on canal
operations issues and Canal expansion
projects. Delegates had the opportunity
to visit the control house.

On February 9, Administrator Alemin
Zubieta welcomed the President of
Tarragona Port Authority, Mr. Lluis
Badia Chancho. Also from Spain,
Doctor Javier San Jose Amezaga from
the University of Deusto, Bilbao,
visited the Panama Canal. Dr. San Jose
Amezaga was accompanied by Father
Pablo Varela Server, Dean of USMA
(the Panamanian Catholic university).
A delegation headed by Mr. Don
Young, from the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure,
visited the Panama Canal on February
18, 2002. Administrator Alemin
greeted the delegation at the
Miraflores Locks and hosted a partial
transit through Gaillard Cut and Gatun
Lake on board the "Marl in" to overview
Canal projects.
Mr. Chris Horrocks, Secretary-general
of the International Chamber of
Shipping visited with Administrator
Alem~n Zubieta and toured the
Miraflores Locks on February 25. Mr.
Horrocks was a distinguished speaker

A Very Important Customer Recieves Award

Mr. Kazuo Sato, Deputy President of
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. visited the
Panama Canal on February 27. During
his visit, he received a complete
orientation on Canal operations
provided both at the Center for Marine
Traffic Control and the Miraflores Locks.
Mr. Kazuo Sato traveled from Japan to
Panama to receive on behalf of Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines Ltd. -the Panama Maritime
Excellence Award from Panama's
President, Mireya Moscoso. The award
ceremony was held at the Presidential
Palace on February 26 and was attended
by Honorable William O'Neil,
Secretary-general of the IMO; Jerry
Salazar, Administrator of the Panama
Maritime Authority and Alberto Alemin
Zubieta, the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal Authority is pleased
with this award presented to Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines Ltd., a world-class
enterprise, and one of Panama Canal's
main users.

at the Panama Maritime VI Conference,
but could not pass on the opportunity to
visit the Panama Canal and to learn first
hand about the various ongoing
modernization and improvement
projects at the waterway.
Mr. Steve Forbes, Chief Editor of Forbes
Magazine and former candidate for the
United States presidency, visited the
Miraflores Locks on Tuesday, March 5,
2002. Mr. Forbes was in Panama as the
special guest of the US-Panama Business
Council (USPA).

WORLD LEADER in services to the
maritime industry and in the
sustainable development for the
conservation of the Canal watershed;
CORNERSTONE of the global
transportation system and driving
force of Panama's progress and
MODEL of excellence, integrity, and
transparency, committed to the full
development ofour work force.

We want your comments
You are very important to us. We want
your comments and suggestions
regarding this newsletter and the service
we provide. We would like to serve you
best and convey important information
for you and your business through this
newsletter. Please let us know your
views about this media (format, content,
topics) and what you would like to see in
our next edition. If you would rather
receive it electronically, please send us a
note with your correct email address to:
cpxc@pancanal.com If you need
additional copies or copies mailed to
other officials within your corporation,
please contact us (see box at right for
address, fax, and telephone numbers).

Corporate Planning and Marketing
Panama Canal Authority
ACP-CP P.O. BOX 025513
Miami FL 33102-5513
Tel.: (507) 272-7961 Fax: (507) 272-5916
e-mail: cpxc@pancanal.com
web site: www.pancanal.com

(then click on "Canal News")


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