Shift to Paperless
Through the use of new technology, the Panama
Canal has taken another step toward shifting to a
paperless environment under an "Automated
Data Collection System" (ADCS). The ADCS,
which has already been activated and will be fully
implemented on July 1, 2004, will be a more
efficient, accurate and reliable system for
sending, receiving, and processing vessel
information. Using this system, all vessels,
including small craft under 125 feet in overall
length, desiring to transit the Canal, or enter one
of the terminal ports, must report all data to the
ACP 96 hours before arrival in Canal waters.
The new system is divided into two main
1. Electronic Data Collection System (EDCS):
which provides the electronic reception of all
preliminary information required for security and
2. Mobile Data Collection System (MDCS):
which allows wireless communication between
the EVTMS database and the handheld devices to
be carried by the ACP admeasurers, boarding
officers, and Canal Protection Officers (CPO).
Implementation of the ADCS will also help place
the Canal in compliance with increased security
standards established by the International
Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO
amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
convention, and provided for the inclusion of an
International Ship and Port Facility Security
(ISPS) code, which will become mandatory on
July 1, 2004. The SOLAS amendments and the
ISPS code contain worldwide measures aimed
to enhance maritime security.
The ACP started designing and developing the
new ADCS system in January 2003 to prepare
for the new requirements defined by the ISPS
code. This system will contribute to achieve the
best level of security by improving the process
of data submission needed for security
verifications and transit operations.
Special waivers exempting the submission of
container location (stowage) have been issued
for containerized cargo (Cargo Declaration
Form). Vessels not transiting the Canal, but
calling local ports located within the Canal area,
are only required to submit a dangerous cargo
For more details regarding the ADCS, please
refer to the Maritime Operations link of the
Panama Canal Authority's web site at
Caa Reeie IP Cetfcto A
On April 21, 2004, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) received
the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS)
certification from the American Bureau of Shipping Consulting,
a subsidiary of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). As a
Recognized Security Organization (RSO), ABS played a key role
in assisting the ACP meet this goal well in advance of the July
2004 implementation date.
The certification is a result of exhaustive planning and execution
of the Panama Canal's security plan. With it, the ACP becomes
the first installation in Panama, and one of the first in Latin
America, to complete the requirements of international security
regulations aimed at protecting the shipping industry against
Alex Weisselberg, Vice President of
ABS Latin America and Alberto
Alemin Zubieta, ACP Administrator.
Safety is integral to the Panama Canal. Compliance with these new requirements demonstrates the
ACP's commitment to being a world-class service provider to the maritime industry.
___ June 2004
th U.S East
an Pot 2004
At th To fh
Solid Cargo Growth
During the first seven-months (October-April) of fiscal year
2004, nearly every major Canal commodity registered growth.
Preliminary data for the period indicates a strong 9.5 percent
increase in commercial cargo tonnage to 121.7 million long
tons from the 111.1 million recorded in the same period of
fiscal year 2003, driven primarily by a recovery in U.S.
economic performance. Among the principal commodities
that registered tonnage increases were containerized cargo,
grains, petroleum and petroleum products, ores and metals,
refrigerated products, chemicals and petroleum chemicals,
coal and coke, as well as nitrates, phosphates and potash, and
lumber and products. On the other hand, manufactures of iron
and steel, and automobiles and parts were the only
commodities registering tonnage declines.
Containerized cargo continues to be the leading commodity
transported through the waterway, with a 14.1 percent
increase to 30.6 million long tons relative to the same period
during fiscal year 2003. Overall, containerized cargo boasted
a 25.1 percent share of total Canal cargo tonnage. Grains
continued in second place, as tonnage levels for the first seven
months of the fiscal year increased by 1.2 percent to 24.4
million long tons. Petroleum and petroleum products, the third
commodity group in importance for the Canal, grew by 26.9
percent to 14.2 million long tons. The ongoing vigorous and
rapid growth in the container segment, and strong gains in the
various bulk sectors continue to fuel rising interest in larger
vessels that deliver greater economies of scale. The Canal
administration is incorporating these dynamics into its Canal
Cargo tonnage comparisons for the first seven months of fiscal
years 2004 and 2003 are illustrated in the adjoining chart.
Ores and Metals
Iron and Steel
Coal and Coke
Major Canal Cargo Flows October-April
0 FY 2003
25,000 30,000 35,000
5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000
Thousand Long Tons
Canal Traffic Up,
Preliminary traffic statistics for the first seven months
(October-April) of fiscal year 2004 recorded a total of
7,394 oceangoing transits, a 5.5 percent increase over the
7,010 transits recorded during the same period last year.
Transits by Panamax-size vessels, the largest that can fit
through the Canal locks, totaled 3,116 with a robust 11.1
percent upturn from the 2,805 transits registered during
the same months of fiscal year 2003. These important
changes in the traffic mix are crucial to the analysis for the
timely implementation of Canal capacity enhancement
projects, which will maintain the waterway as the
preferred alternative over the long term.
As the U.S. and other major world economies continue to
rebound, the outlook for Canal traffic is positive. The
adjacent table illustrates a monthly comparative
breakdown by fiscal year. During this seven-month
period, Panamax-size vessels transits held a 42.1 per cent
share of total oceangoing transits.
Panamax Transits 100' Beam & Over
Mont FY 20 F oa
Bringing China to the
U.S. East Coast
On April 7, 2004, Panama Canal Authority Marketing
Director, Mr. Rodolfo Sabonge, participated in a
roundtable discussion at the Third Annual Conference on
China, held in Savannah, Georgia, with the topic
"Bringing China to the East Coast". Mr. Sabonge
highlighted the remarkable growth of the all-water route
stating that, "We had 400,000 containers move through
the Canal in 1999 and 1.6 million in 2003. A lot of that has
to do with growth in trade between China and the U.S.
East Coast. We're looking at continued growth in this area
and planning accordingly."
A Panama Canal Master Plan, that considers various
alternatives to handle further projected growth in
commodity movements through the waterway, is
scheduled to be released this year.
Coral Princess transits the Gatun Locks.
Cruise Transits Up Sharply
The ACP Cruise Season, traditionally spanning from the fall
through the spring of the following year, (October-May), is
wrapping up with a robust finish. Preliminary Canal traffic
figures through April 30, 2004 recorded 245 transits in the
cruise segment, an upturn of 62 transits more compared to
the same period of the previous fiscal year. A stellar Canal
cruise season is expected once the overall transit statistics
are delivered for the month of May. After two consecutive
seasons of just under 210 transits, the cruise segment has
experienced a strong recovery, mainly driven by the
enhancement of security measures at North American
ports, the overall United States economic recovery, as well
as repositioned cruises via the Panama Canal offered by
major lines such as Princess Cruises.
Comments from the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention
held earlier this year in Miami Beach, Florida, were that the
cruise industry expects continuous growth in passenger
volumes this year to keep pace with increased capacity, with
many lines reporting record booking volume and moderate
pricing gains. According to Mr. Mark Conroy, Chairman of
Cruise Lines International Association and President of
Radisson Seven Seas Cruise, the forecast for 2004 is 10.6
million passengers, up 11.5% from 2003 with half the
volume expected to be first time cruisers. At the same
time, the industry is experiencing a huge boost in capacity.
Thirteen new vessels were added in 2002; 15, in 2003 and
another 12 will be delivered this year.
Interest in cruises to Latin America has increased partially
due to improvements made at destination port facilities,
enhanced onboard and landside security, more favorable
monetary exchange rates in the hemisphere, and greater
selection and flexibility in scheduling itineraries. Panama
has been one of the beneficiaries of increased port calls by
luxury cruise vessels, and the unique experience of a
tropical cruise through the Canal continues to be a very
popular attraction. Among the good news that we have
for the next cruise season is the arrival of the first Disney
cruise line vessel in May 2005.
TETAV SCEDL OF LCSOUAE
__te No. of. -as Mrfoe er iul I Ga al rni aaiy Sau
May 31 June 10, 2004
July 5 -15, 2004
August 9 -19, 2004
September 13 23, 2004
Lane Outage Lane Outage
For additional information, visit our website www.pancanal.com
The locks locomotive
tow track replacement
project that started in
fiscal year 1997 has
This project, scheduled
to be finished by fiscal
year 2005, is currently
74 percent complete
overall. Pacific side
locks, Miraflores and
Pedro Miguel, are
currently 94 and 91
per ce nt co mplete Locks locomotive tow track
respectively, and Gatun is rehabilitation
47 percent complete. Priority was given to Miraflores
and Pedro Miguel due to the arrival of the new generation
of towing locomotives at these locations. Efforts are now
being concentrated in Gatun for the next two years to
bring all three locks to completion as planned.
The new track system will substantially reduce any track
related delays in the future. This system is designed to
handle higher return speeds for new locomotives, which
will improve throughput at the locks. Another
important benefit of the new rail is its capacity to
withstand greater loads when towing or braking vessels
within the lock chamber, particularly Panamax-size
vessels, which are increasingly gaining a larger share of
For Canal customers, completion of the track
rehabilitation program will mean fewer transit delays
associated with locks lane outages for track
maintenance, and improved Canal Waters Time.
ACP participates in World Shipping
Council meeting and Ports 2004
On March 17, 2004, Panama Canal Administrator
Alberto Alemcn Zubieta met with members of the World
Shipping Council (WSC) to strengthen ties and share
information on the initiatives being adopted by the ACP
in matters of security, transit reservations,
modernization and the Canal Master Plan. Representatives of
the major container lines, who are members of the WSC as well
as customers of the Canal, participated in this meeting. Mr.
Aleman provided an update on the ACP's planned
implementation of the new Automated Data Collection System
(ADCS) on July 1, 2004. It is worth noting that the ADCS was
one of key issues covered by Christopher Koch, President and
CEO of the WSC, during a conference on maritime security held
in Panama in December 2003.
Furthermore, Panama Canal Administrator, Alberto Alemcn
Zubieta, participated as a keynote speaker in the Ports 2004
Conference titled "Port Development in the Changing World".
The event took place on May 23 26, 2004, in Houston, Texas,
and it was co-sponsored by the Ports and Harbors Committee
of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Coasts,
Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI); and the U.S.
Section of the Permanent International Navigation Association
Congress (PIANC). The conference was co-hosted by the Port
of Houston Authority, with whom the Panama Canal Authority
subscribed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2003. Mr.
Alemcn Zubieta addressed the audience on the "Changes in
World Economy, Trade, Transportation and Technology".
At the Top of the World
In May, Andr6nico
President of Banco -
de Chile, one of .
Chile's most .
important banks, '
and a member of
the ACP Advisory .- ,
Board, reached the
top of Mount
and training for
event demonstrate Andr6nico Luksic, while pursuing his quest
h i s relentless at Mount Everest
pursuit of success.
Throughout his life, Mr. Luksic has been characterized for his
leadership and dynamism. His determined personality and
vision are extremely valuable to the ACP Advisory Board.
I We wan you comet fo mor inomto 0
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org If you need additional copies mailed to other
officials within your corporation, please contact us at the address indicated in the
Panama Canal Authority
Corporate Planning and Marketing (PM)
P.O. BOX 526725,
Miami FL. 33152-6725
SEE THIS NEWSLETTER ON THE ACP WEB
(then click on "Virtual New
Tel. (507) 272-7961
Fax: (507) 272-5916