Title: News from ... the Panama Canal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099414/00006
 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 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099414
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


This item has the following downloads:

12-2003 ( PDF )

Full Text

Dmber 200t

ember 2003

Message from the Administrator

As this year comes to an
end, we would liketotake
a moment to thank you
for your loyal support and
continued business. This
has been a very special
year for the Canal, as we
proudly celebrate the
Centennial of our nation.
The colorful festivities
were a clear expression of
Panama's will and
determination to live in freedom and
independence, while valuing our strategic
importance as the crossroads for world trade.
Four years have passed since the transfer of the
Canal to Panamanian stewardship. During this
period, we have made significant strides towards
serving our customers better while improving
safety and security.
Today, the Canal has embarked on a permanent
modernization plan that includes investments in
capacity and improvement projects to meet the
immediate needs of our customers. Some of
these projects include the acquisition of new
floating equipment and technology related
improvements. Orders have been placed for the
purchase of 34 new towing locomotives at a cost
of more than $2 million each. Although a
physical widening and deepening of the
waterway in recent years, along with other
improvements, has already created added
capacity, the long-term needs of our customers
remain crucial to our long-range planning efforts.
Our investments have reaped valuable benefits.
Total Canal Waters Time has been reduced from
32.9 hours in 1999 to 22.5 hours in 2003,
representing a 35 percent decrease in overall
waiting and transit time. This noteworthy
decrease reflects the Canal's capability to handle
a record number of transits by Panamax-sized
vessels (which use more transit resources) and
to sustain transits by a broad mix of other vessel
types. In addition, the Canal set a new safety
record with a 30 percent reduction in vessel
accidents. This translates into greater reliability,
savings and efficiency for all Canal users. These

accomplishments serve as a reminder to the ACP
to quickly respond to the demands of our
customers, who greatly value time, safety and
Recent world events have brought additional
challenges, as the implementation of new security
measures to comply with the requirements of the
ISPS code have produced a heightened awareness
of the need for good security. Your cooperation
and compliance with these international standards
will result in a safer Canal, benefiting all users.
To build stronger bonds within the maritime
industry and other business sectors, the Canal
participated in major international maritime
exhibitions and conferences, locally and abroad.
Involvement in these events, combined with visits
to Canal customers, has been an effective tool in
gauging levels of customer satisfaction, as well as
serving as an outlet for exchanging views and
The signing of the Memorandums of
Understanding (MOU) with the East and Gulf Ports
of the United States are indicative of the Canal's
shift in its philosophy to operate as a business,
rather than a profit-neutral utility. The MOUs
create a partnership to work together by sharing
data and market intelligence, exchanging ideas
and engaging in joint marketing and promotion
(e.g., sharing market studies and plans for
improvement projects). These strategic alliances
seek to boost trade via the "All-Water Route," the
trade link between Asia and the East Coast by way
of the Panama Canal. Known as the "best deal in
shipping," this route is the most reliable, safe and
economical means of bringing Asian goods to U.S.
consumers. The "All-Water Route" continues to
surge and container trade is greater than ever
positioning itself as the number one commodity
though the Canal, representing 25 percent of total
cargo shipments.
For the New Year, we pledge to improve service
wherever possible and your suggestions are
always welcome.
On behalf of the ACP, I would like to wish you a
prosperous new year and look forward to working
with you.


Mesag fro the


Tettv Schdl of

Maitm Inusryt

Disus Oulo for
Al-ae Serice

Cris Destinatin

Por Inusr DayU

Paam Ceerae
it Cetnna an its
Grwn Impotanc
as a Trasprtaio

FY 2003 Canal Cargo Information

Canal data for the twelve months (October 2002-September
2003) of fiscal year 2003 reflected a marginal increase of 0.2
percent in commercial cargo tonnage, totaling 188.3 million
long tons. The main driver of growth was containerized cargo,
which recorded nearly 47 million long tons, with an 18.8
percent growth compared to the prior fiscal year. Some
increased cargo movements at the Canal were attributed to
the labor disputes that occurred on the U.S. West Coast ports in
the latter part of 2002. Overall, a number of new services and
utilization of vessels with larger cargo carrying capacity,
augmented cargo levels through the waterway. Another
contributing factor was the increasing demand for
manufactured goods originating in Mainland China and
destined for distribution centers located on the East Coast of
the United States.
Major Canal Cargo Flows October-September

Container Cargo

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

Lumber and Products

0 FY 2003
E FY 2002

0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 50,000
Thousand Long Tons

Grains were the second most important commodity, recording
nearly 35.7 million long tons or 19 per cent of total cargo
movements via the Panama Canal. During fiscal year 2003,
tonnage levels dropped by 5.4 per cent from a year before,
mainly due to heavy rainfall in the United States that affected
crop harvests. Healthy wheat and soybean shipments

contributed to Canal tonnage, but not in sufficient quantities
to offset the slowdown in corn exports from loading centers
in the U.S. Gulf destined for the Far East market.

Panamax Record-Breaking Year

This fiscal year, which ended on September 30, 2003, the
Canal experienced record transits by Panamax-size vessels,
the largest vessels the Canal can presently handle. More
specifically, Canal statistics reflected all-time highs of 4,737
transits by vessels in this category, a 3.8 percent surge from
the 4,565 transits registered in fiscal year 2002. Panamax-
size transits now comprise more than 40 percent of total
oceangoing transits at the waterway. This strong
performance also helped to boost total commercial cargo
tonnage throughput at the Canal despite a slight downturn
of 1.1 percent in total oceangoing transits for the year.
For the first time in Panama Canal history, transits by full
containerships, particularly those in the 100 foot-beam and
over category, displaced dry bulk carriers by representing a
20.2 per cent share of total oceangoing transits. The
adjoining graph illustrates a monthly comparative of
Panamax-size vessel transits by fiscal year

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%
Mar. 383 417 8.9%
Apr. 383 376 -1.8%
May 383 398 3.9%
June 390 364 -6.7%
July 404 411 1.7%
Aug. 403 392 -2.7%
Sept. 364 367 0.8%
Total 4,565 4,737 3.8%

Dates No. Of Days Miraflores Pedro Miguel Gatun Daily Transit Capacity Status

Dec 4 5, 2003 2 Lane Outage 26 28 Confirmed
Jan 14 16, 2004 3 Lane Outage 30-32 Tentative
Feb 4 6, 2004 3 Lane Outage 30 32 Tentative
May 31 June 10, 2004 11 Lane Outage 26-28 Tentative
July 5 15, 2004 11 Lane Outage Lane Outage 26 28 Tentative
August 9 19, 2004 11 Lane Outage 26 28 Tentative
Sept 13 23, 2004 11 Lane Outage 26 28 Tentative
Oct 18 28, 2004 11 Lane Outage 26 28 Tentative
Dec 2004 3 Lane Outage 26 28 Tentative
For additional information visit our website www.pancanal.com

Upgrading of ACP Locomotive
Fleet Continues
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has exercised an option for
the purchase of 34 additional locomotives from the Mitsubishi
Corporation, at a cost of more than $2 million per unit. These
locomotives are part of the newer generation of locomotives
that the Canal has been acquiring for several years to phase out
older models. The new ones have 50 percent more towing
power and have a much faster return speed than the early
models, which will help reduce the time vessels spend transiting
the locks. The plan is to replace the whole locomotive fleet and
this should be completed in the next three years. The main
function of the locomotives is to keep ships centered in the lock
chambers through cables attached to the vessels as they pass
through the Canal's locks. The Canal under Panamanian
stewardship has been committed to modernizing its locomotive
fleet, an essential component for safe, reliable and efficient

New Mitsubishi locomotive

Maritime Industry to Discuss
Outlook for All-Water Services
and Transshipment Hubs at
TOC2003 Americas
The growth of all-water Asia-U.S. services via Panama and
prospects for transshipment versus direct call service are two of
the hot topics to be debated by senior shipping and port
industry representatives at the third annual TOC Americas
conference, taking place 2-4 December at the El Panama Hotel,
Panama City.
Continued diversification of trade routes into the U.S. for Asia
cargo would have tremendous implications for investment in
America's marine terminal network. Senior executives from
the Panama Canal Authority, Maersk Sealand, Port of New York
and New Jersey, South Carolina State Ports Authority, Port of
Miami, Port of Houston Authority, Port of New Orleans, Georgia
Ports Authority and Virginia International Terminals will share
their opinions on the capacity required to handle Asian trade
growth and the impact of all-water services into the U.S. East
Coast. The debate will include a briefing by the Panama Canal
Authority on the latest status of plans to widen the Canal.
For more information please visit: www.toc-
events.com/tocamerica or e-mail cust.serv@informa.com

Cruise Destination: Panama

For many years, the splendor of the Panama Canal has
attracted cruise operators and travel agents to include the
waterway as a choice destination in their cruise travel
packages. From the deck of the vessel or from the relaxed
comfort of luxurious temperature controlled staterooms,
cruise passengers can experience a transit of the Canal,
and view up close the tropical flora and fauna, along with
the grandeur of the eighth wonder of the world and the
magnificence of this engineering feat. New modern cruise
terminals offer tourists the option to disembark in a safe,
clean environment and enjoy shore excursions that include
tropical rain forests; the burial site of Sir Francis Drake;
historic fortresses where gold, silver and precious gems
were protected while they awaited transshipment on
galleons; aquatic sports and activities; tax free shopping
and much more.
A transcontinental railroad, which runs parallel to the
waterway, provides a one-hour journey that gives tourists a
very interesting perspective of the Canal. The train even
travels through the jungles of Panama, which is home to an
enormous variety of plants and animals in their habitat.
The path of the train runs near Pipeline Road, which is
considered one of the most ideal bird watching locations in
the hemisphere, because of the high concentration and
variety of birds in that area. Panama has long been
considered one of the leading sanctuaries in the world for
bird watching particularly during migratory periods.
More information concerning tourism options and activities
in Panama can be obtained by accessing our web site at

Port Industry Day

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey recently
sponsored Port Industry Day. Panama Canal Administrator
Alberto Aleman Zubieta was invited on October 9 to be a
speaker at this event, which was attended by more than
600 maritime executives. His presentation covered the
progress of the Panama Canal modernization and
improvement programs, the record reduction in maritime
accidents and lower Canal Waters Time. He also outlined a
number of other benefits that the all-water route through
the Canal offers to make it the preferred transportation

14 cruise vessel LranSfiL mne ricnmCIMCI t-lnf lUoK5

Panama Celebrates its Centennial
and its Growing Importance as a
Transportation Hub
On November 3, 2003, the Republic of Panama proudly
celebrated its 100th anniversary as a free nation. The
separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903 was far more
than a fervent expression by the Panamanian people to
live independently. It was a manifestation of the strategic
importance of the Isthmus of Panama and its treasured
value to world trade dating back to the days of the
The construction of the Panama Canal, port facilities and
other maritime operations in the early 1900's created
enormous new opportunities for Panama. For decades,
that infrastructure fulfilled the Canal's mission and specific
international treaty agreements. More recently, a new
treaty provided the setting for several major events and
established the present climate, which is catapulting
Panama's maritime development as a new transportation
hub. These events include the transfer of the Panama
Canal to Panamanian stewardship, which restructured the
waterway, to perform more like a corporate entity; the
privatization of Canal area ports and the railroad that have
undergone extensive investment and rehabilitation.
Every year, more than 13,000 vessels carrying nearly 200
million long tons of cargo transit the Panama Canal, which
serves more than 140 different transportation routes
providing a global link between ports, commodities, and
consumers. The size of vessels using the Canal is also
increasing, particularly with regard to container vessels,
to respond to the growth in trade and the simple logic of
greater economies of scale.
The Panama Canal has long been perceived as the most
economical highway for the mass movement of trade.
World-class port facilities such as the Manzanillo
International Terminal (MIT), Panama Ports, and the Colon
Container Terminal are constantly raising the bar to
provide service levels previously unheard of in Panama.
The fully rehabilitated Panama Canal Railway, which offers
double stack service, has been the special link that brings
all of these ports together by delivering new service
options with a large capacity margin.
The Colon Free Zone, the second largest international
distribution center in the world, is ideally situated adjacent
to the port, highway and railroad systems, facilitating the
re-distribution of an enormous variety of products
between Asia and the large global markets, including Latin
America and the Caribbean. Air connectivity is also
available through major airlines, which link shippers to

virtually every corner of the globe, especially the growing
north-south axis between North, Central and South
America and the Caribbean. In addition, Panamanian
corporate laws have consolidated the country as a
preferred world tax haven, contributing to make of Panama
one of the business centers of the world.

ianama s iransporrarion nuD

Upcoming Events

ACP Administrator, Alberto Aleman Zubieta, and/or
members of his staff will attend the events listed below. If
you are interested in meeting with a Panama Canal
representative in your area of interest, please contact the
Customer Relations Unit at 011-507-272-1747 or send
e-mail to customerelations@pancanal.com
January 2004
Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB)
83rd Annual Meeting
Date: January 11-15, 2004
Place: Washington, D.C.
AAPA Latin American & Caribbean Executive
Management Conference
Date: January 28-30, 2004
Place: Miami, Florida

We wan you comet fo mor inforatio

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-PMMR P.O. BOX 025513,
Miami FL. 33102-5513

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

(then click on "Canal News")

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs