• ITVI.USA
    15,442.580
    19.940
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.891
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.850
    -0.110
    -0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,411.420
    23.220
    0.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.920
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.680
    -0.030
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.620
    -0.020
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.420
    0.100
    4.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.170
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    128.000
    2.000
    1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,442.580
    19.940
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.891
    0.002
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.850
    -0.110
    -0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,411.420
    23.220
    0.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.920
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.680
    -0.030
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.060
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.620
    -0.020
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.420
    0.100
    4.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.170
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    128.000
    2.000
    1.6%
American Shipper

Benitez: Panama Canal cracks ‘likely’ to delay opening

Meanwhile, lane outages in the existing locks for maintenance could reduce available capacity for vessel traffic by up to 50 percent through the end of the month, according to maritime support services provider Gulf Agency Co.

   The Panama Canal Authority is assessing whether it needs to postpone the April, 2016 opening of a new set of larger locks for big ships after cracks were discovered in the concrete walls of some water chambers, Deputy Administrator Manuel Benitez told Reuters on Tuesday.
   When asked if there was a chance the cracks could delay the opening of the expanded waterway, Benitez told Reuters “it is likely.”
   Officials are waiting for an update from Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC), the contractor for the third set of locks project. The international consortium is led by Spanish construction firm Sacyr and Italy’s Salini Impregilo.
   The expanded locks are expected to change global supply chain patterns for containerized goods and bulk commodities by enabling much larger ships moving between Asia and the West Coast of North and South America on one side, and the East Coast of North and South America on the other, to pass through the waterway. The primary benefit is the lowering of overall shipping costs as goods will be moved in a much larger form factor.
   Whether the expanded canal will cause a permanent shift in absolute cargo volumes, however, is a topic that is still very much up for debate.
   The massive construction project has experienced a series of delays due to bad weather, labor protests, production problems and a contract dispute between GUPC and the Canal Authority. The original plan was for the new locks to open to vessel traffic in October 2014.
   The delays have pushed the project’s cost from the original budget of $5.2 billion to over $7 billion.
   Meanwhile, lane outages in the existing locks for maintenance could reduce available capacity for vessel traffic by up to 50 percent through the end of the month, according to a customer service bulletin from Dubai-based maritime support services provider Gulf Agency Co.
   Vessels that don’t make appointments through the online booking system can expect delays of four to seven days to get a transit slot, the service bulletin said.

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