Tag Archives: panama canal

Panama Canal discounts may not produce expected flood of new business – The Loadstar

Price wars in the canal business!  Egypt cuts rates in Suez; now Panama cuts rates on its canal.

The cuts seem to be only on return voyages. Drewry’s doesn’t think much of them.

Source: Panama Canal discounts may not produce expected flood of new business – The Loadstar

A taste of irony: LNG tanker transits new Panama Canal locks

LNG is an area in which we can expect the new bigger Panama Canal to make a great difference in trade patterns. The major source of US export LNG will be in the deep south, the US Gulf Coast. There are also major LNG processing and storage facilities in the Caribbean island nations.  Transit times to Asia and to South America will be substantially improved, making US LNG exports competitive from a transportation standpoint.  And it appears the canal is accomplishing that.

So why hasn’t the flow of tankers happened yet?  The Canal management expects it to happen soon.  But wait a minute!  Just as for container ships, it appears that the Gulf Coast tanker ports cannot handle the larger vessels. They need operational and infrastructure improvements to support the larger ships’ needs for berthing, loading, and unloading.

Isn’t it ironic?  All the angst over dredging East Coast ports for container ships and rigging terminals to unload big ships fast, and no one thought of the same issues for tankers? Is no one in shipping thinking about supply chains?

Here’s the nice story by Deepa Vijiyasingam of Platts.

Platts Source: First LNG tanker transits new Panama Canal locks; 54 vessels through: ACP – Shipping | Platts News Article & Story

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

Outstanding long form research piece on the new Panama Canal locks.  Much of it is business as usual in the world of very large infrastructure projects; I’m reminded of San Francisco Bay Area’s struggles replacing and retrofitting several bridges to meet more resistant earthquake standards.  Cost overruns, failing concrete, poor design– all typical.

But a water shortage making ships lighten up before paying to use new locks that should let them carry full loads through?   And everyone knew in advance that more water would be needed?

Wonderful pictures, too, in this great story. We’ll see how it plays out.

  After a Spanish-led consortium won the right to build locks for bigger ships at a rock-bottom price, internal arguments soon gave way to larger problems.

Source: The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet – The New York Times