October 2015 Issue – Panama Canal Facing Transit Backlog

ENVIRONMENTAL EMISSIONS: Are pretty big news at the moment, with the case of Volkswagen offering a salutary example of just how damaging to a company’s reputation and financial performance any failure to meet environmental legislation has the potential to be. But of course the shipping industry has never needed to be reminded of this fact. Few industries have had to work harder in recent years to meet the demands of global environmental legislation. With this in mind, it is proper that, in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, the global shipping industry as represented by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has launched some key messages to government negotiators, explaining the impressive progress the industry is making in reduce its carbon footprint.

The Panama Canal continues to experience an increase in transit backlog due to recent locks maintenance work, coupled with high arrivals during the last week of September. In response to this situation, scheduled non-critical maintenance work was postponed and additional crews have been assigned to increase capacity at Gatun and Miraflores Locks.

Pursuant to concerns expressed by the maritime industry regarding the extended waiting time currently being experienced by some customers, the following additional measures will be implemented, effective October 5, 2015:

A temporary reduction in the number of booking slots for supers, where the number of available booking slots for supers will be reduced to five (5) in the third period, for a total of 15 slots.

A temporary reduction of the Just-In-Time (JIT) transit service, where only one (1) JIT transit slot will be offered daily per direction.