Title: News from ... the Panama Canal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099414/00003
 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: March 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099414
Volume ID: VID00003
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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arch 2003

New Canal Minister and
Chairman Appointed
On February 6, Panamanian
President Mireya Moscoso
appointed Mr. Jerry Salazar
as the new Minister for
Canal Affairs. As the Canal
Minister, Mr. Salazar will
also have the dual role of
serving as Chairman of the
Board for the Canal
Authority. Mr. Salazar
succeeds Ricardo Martinelli, who resigned as
Canal Affairs Minister in January 2003 to pursue
presidential aspirations. Mr. Salazar has more
than three decades of maritime experience in the
private and public sector, which included the
development and execution of maritime policy. In
1972 he began working with Japan Tuna, the
shipping agent of the Federation of Japan Tuna
Fisheries Co-operative Associations based in
Panama, and served as the General Manager until
1989, when he was appointed Director of the
National Ports Authority, which eventually became

Cruise Vessel Christened in Car

On January 17, 2003, in an unprecedented
and historic ceremony that took place in
Canal waters, Panamanian President Mireya
Moscoso pulled the lever that released a
bottle of champagne to christen the
luxurious cruise liner "Coral Princess" during
her inaugural transitthrough Gatun Locks.
Phil Kleweno, President of Princess Cruises
said, "In our 32 years of Panama Canal
cruising, we've established a strong and
beneficial relationship with Panama, so we feel
President Moscoso is the perfect person to
christen this ship, which was built specifically
for Canal transit... As we offer more Panama
Canal sailings than any other line and even plan
to double our number of Canal cruises next
year, we are delighted to have President
Moscoso become the "godmother"of Coral
Princess and to host the first naming ceremony
in the Canal."

the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP). As
Director of the AMP, Mr. Salazar promoted and
regulated all activities in the development and
operation of Panama's port industry and
represented Panama before the International
Maritime Organization (IMO). He was also
responsible for the Panamanian registry, the
administration of marine and coastal resources
and the fulfilling of provisions set forth by the
United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.
He represented Panama before the Permanent
Ports Committee, the Association of American
Ports, the International Organization of the
Maritime Labor Sector, the Inter-American
Committee for Tropical Tuna, the Tuna Atlantic
Committee, and the International Association of
Ports and Harbors, among others. Mr. Salazar,
who holds a bachelor degree in Business
Administration from Universidad Nacional de
Panama, is a member of the board of the Central
American Maritime Transport Committee

, 1

The Coral Princess in her maiden voyage through the
Panama Canal.


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Canal Transits and Cargo

Available statistics for the five-month period (October-
February) of fiscal year 2003 recorded a slight increase of 0.5
percent in commercial cargo tonnage to 78.7 million long tons
from the 78.3 million recorded in the same period of fiscal year
2002, despite a sluggish U.S. economic performance and the
industry-wide fear of an armed conflict in the Persian Gulf.
Among the principal commodities that registered tonnage
increases were containerized cargo, grains, chemicals and
petroleum chemicals, refrigerated products, and coal and
On the contrary, commodities with tonnage declines included
petroleum and petroleum products, ores and metals, nitrates,
phosphates and potash, manufactures of iron and steel, and
lumber and products. Containerized cargo strengthened its
position as the principal commodity transported through the
waterway with a record 26.3 percent increase to 18.8 million
long tons relative to the same period during fiscal year 2002.
Overall, containerized cargo holds a 23.9 percent share of total
Canal cargo tonnage.
Grains continued in second place, as tonnage levels for the
first five months of the fiscal year rose by 10.9 percent to 18.5
million long tons, with increased demand for corn and
soybeans. Petroleum and petroleum products, third
commodity group in importance for the Canal, declined by
31.7 percent to 7.8 million long tons. This decline was the
result of a reduction in the exports from Ecuador and
Venezuela, which are the most important producers of the
region and the key users of the Panama Canal within this
segment. In addition to these events, the world economic
slowdown has caused a contraction on the demand for crude
petroleum of the OECD member countries, which is the case of
the United States.
Cargo tonnage comparisons for the first five months of fiscal
years 2003 and 2002 are illustrated in the enclosed chart.

Major Canal Cargo Flows October-February

Containerized Cargo
Petroleum and
Petroleum Products
Ores and Metals
Nitrates, Phosphates
and Potash
Manufactures of
Iron and Steel
Chemicals and
Petroleum Chemicals
Refrigerated Foods
Lumber and Products
Coal and Coke

0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000 18,000 20,000
Thousand Long Tons
H FY 2003 H FY 2002

Strong Trend by Panamax
Vessel Transits
Preliminary traffic statistics for the first five months
(October February) of fiscal year 2003 registered a total
of 4,893 oceangoing transits, a 0.4 per cent increase over
the 4,872 transits recorded during the same period the
year before. Transits by Panamax-size vessels, the largest
that can fit Canal locks, totaled 2,012 with a robust 8.5 per
cent upturn from the 1,855 transits in fiscal year 2002. The
enclosed graph illustrates a monthly comparative
breakdown by fiscal year. During this five-month period,
Panamax-size vessels transits held a 41.1 per cent share of
total oceangoing transits. In turn, full container ship and
dry bulk carriers represented more than 60.0 per cent of
oceangoing transits, with shares of 35.1 and 27.5 per cent,
Panamax Transits 100' Beam & Over

Oct. 355 379 6.8
Nov. 389 397 2.1
Dec. 370 417 12.7
Jan. 395 421 6.6
Feb. 346 398 15.0
Total 1,855 2,012 8.5


Canal Safety Record Improves

After achieving a remarkable safety record in the last two
years, the Canal has further reduced the incidence of
marine accidents. During the first quarter of fiscal year
2003, the Panama Canal registered a total of only four
maritime accidents, a 33% reduction when compared
against the six accidents that occurred during the same
period last year.
Another notable achievement was the reduction in total
average Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average length of
time that it takes for a vessel to transit the Canal, including
waiting time. CWT was only 22.4 hours, or 8.9 percent
less than the 24.6 hours it took to transit during the same
period last year.
These accomplishments have added significance
considering that overall transits and cargo tonnage
increased during the first quarter of fiscal year 2003.
Vessel tonnage also increased 4.9 percent -- to
61,044,707 PC/UMS from 58,213,058 PC/UMS.
The reductions in the accident rates and average Canal
Waters Time are the result of operational improvements
and a strong emphasis on safety.


Navigational Tests in Gaillard Cut

The Canal has been conducting operational and navigational
tests at the two northernmost reaches in Gaillard Cut, which
represent almost 40% of the entire length of the Cut. These
tests consist of carefully monitoring the actual approach,
meeting and passing of various types of vessels sailing in
opposite directions, particularly those of Panamax dimensions,
the largest vessels the Canal can safely handle. Once testing
has been completed in these two reaches, similar tests will
begin in the remaining portions of Gaillard Cut.
The completion of the widening of Gaillard Cut marks the
culmination of an important phase of the Canal's modernization
program to increase Canal capacity. The increase in capacity is
a significant improvement that represents tangible value to
customers, by reducing waiting and overall transit time. From
a strategic and global perspective it enhances the competitive
value of the waterway.

Enhanced Security
The Panama Canal Authority is implementing new measures to
enhance maritime security and prevent and suppress terrorist
acts against shipping, which were adopted by the International
Maritime Organization during the diplomatic conference of
contracting governments to the Safety of Life at Sea
Convention (SOLAS), held at the IMO London headquarters in
Significant advances have been made in the implementation of
AIS for vessels transiting the waterway to be effective on July 1,
Additional upcoming Canal initiatives to comply with the new
IMO security standards include installing shore stations capable
of receiving alert signals from ship-to-shore alert systems and
relaying this information to responding entities, acquiring
underwater side scan sonar systems to inspect the hulls of
transiting vessels, and developing electronic data exchange
infrastructure to obtain information from vessels prior to their

Advisory Board
Appoints New Members
The seventh meeting of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
Advisory Board was held in Panama, on February 14-15,
2003 The Advisory Board discussed the implementation of
the recently approved amendments to the SOLAS
Convention and the International Ship and Port Facilitation
Security Code, which will become mandatory on July 1,
2004. They also commended the Canal administration for
the initiatives taken to improve security and the
establishment of the Incident Management Center, a state-
of-the-art facility. Mr. Isao Shintani, President, K-Line;
Captain Wei Jiafu, President, COSCO; Dr. Ernst Frankel,
Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Dr. Aaron Gelman, Professor, Northwestern University
Transportation Center; L.F. Rooney III, CEO, Rooney
Brothers Company, and Admiral William J. Flanagan, Jr.,
Chairman & CEO, Skarven Enterprises, were officially
appointed as new members to the Canal's Advisory Board.
These new members have extensive experience in their
respective fields, and they are internationally respected for
their achievements and contributions. The next joint
meeting of the Advisory Board with the ACP Board of
Directors will be held in September in Copenhagen,
[ |

During the Seventh Meeting of the Advisory Board headed by the Chairman
of the Advisory Board, His Excellency Mr. William O'Neil, Secretary-General
of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and by His Excellency
Mr. Jerry Salazar, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ACP and
Minister for Canal Affairs.

Locks Maintenance
The following maintenance is currently scheduled for the
Panama Canal locks through September 2003. Canal
customers are reminded that they can monitor the nature and

impact of these projects on transit capacity, or any
changes in the maintenance schedule, by accessing the
Canal's website at: www.pancanal.com and then clicking
on the Maritime Operations' link.

Dates Duration Locks Nature of Maintenance

June 2 12 11 days Pedro Miguel Rehabilitation of 1,514 ft. of locomotive track on west sidewall and centerwall
July 7 17 11 days Miraflores Rehabilitation of 2,127 ft. of locomotive track on southeast approach wall
July 7 17 11 days Pedro Miguel Conversion of 8 rising stem valves on east lane dry chamber
Aug. 11 22 12 days Pedro Miguel Rehabilitation of 2,445 feet on west wingwall
Sept. 15 25 11 days Miraflores Rehabilitation of 1,705 ft., on east approach wall
Sept. 15 25 11 days Gatun Dry chamber miter gates 9 10 17 18

Ourec Effors

Panama Canal Delegation
Visits the East Coast Ports
of the United States
From February 18-27, Mr. Rodolfo R. Sabonge, Corporate
Planning and Marketing Director and members of his staff
met with U.S. East Coast Ports officials to discuss topics of
mutual interest related to the increase in all-water services.
The visit included the Port of Charleston, S.C.; Norfolk, VA;
Philadelphia, PA; New York/New Jersey; Houston, TX; New
Orleans, LA; and Miami, FL.

From left to right: Virginia Port Authority, Mr. Gregory Edwards,
Director Marketing & Intermodal; Ms. Sara Rivadeneira, ACP
Customer Relations Specialist; Virginia International Terminals,
Inc., Mr. Joseph A. Dorto, CEO & General Manager; and Mr. Rodolfo
Sabonge, ACP Corporate Planning & Marketing Director, during
their visit to the Virginia Port Authority.

ACP Sponsored Expo Trans 2003

The ACP co-sponsored Centennial Expo Trans 2003, a
transportation conference that was hosted by the United
States-Panama Business Council (USPA) from January 27
to 29, 2003 in Panama City. The purpose of this event was
to highlight the advantages of available resources and
infrastructures in Panama for the establishment of a multi-
modal transportation hub.
Mr. Rodolfo R. Sabonge, Corporate Planning and Marketing
Director, was the speaker of a forum in which he made a
presentation on "The Panama Canal: Preparing for the

Canal Offers Maritime Training

The Panama Canal Authority is pleased to announce that
maritime training courses are now being offered to the
maritime community at the Canal's Maritime Simulation,
Research and Development Center (SIDMAR). The center is
equipped with state-of-the-art full mission bridge simulators.
SIDMAR, located in Balboa, offers regular and customized
courses where the attendees have the opportunity to learn
from experienced instructors and perform hands-on training
utilizing two full mission bridge simulators, one of 150 and
other of 360 degrees of visual; tugboat and fire simulators; and
the training vessel Atlas.
SIDMAR offers courses such as, Bridge Resource Management,
Basic Marine Firefighting, Advanced Marine Firefighting and
Emergency Response Plan courses, developed in accordance
with the International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW 78/95).
The establishment of SIDMAR places the ACP at the forefront
in training services to maritime personnel at all levels. For
information on the above courses and training needs, please
contact our simulator center by phone at (507) 272-4249, by
fax at (507) 272-3222 or you may send your message by
electronic mail to sidmar@pancanal.com.

ACP Signs U.N. Global Compact

On December 11, 2002, Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman
Zubieta signed the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative
led by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, for
encouraging and promoting good corporate practices and
learning experiences that will help build the social and
environmental pillars required to sustain the new global
economy and make globalization work for all the world's
By adhering to the Global Compact, the ACP supports and
embraces a set of core values in the areas of human rights,
labor standards and environmental practice. At the signing
ceremony, Panama Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman
Zubieta said: "We, at the ACP, are honored to be a part of this
historic initiative. For nearly one hundred years, the Panama
Canal has been bringing nations closer together through
commerce. Today, we join other international institutions who
are committed to ensuring responsible global commerce that
benefits the people of all nations."

I We wan you comet fo mor inomto

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
ACP-CP P.O. BOX 025513,
Miami FL. 33102-5513

Tel. (507) 272-7961
Fax: (507) 272-5916
e-mail: customerelations@pancanal.com

(then click on "Canal News") web site: www.pancanal.com

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