Disney Wonder transiting the New Panama Canal Locks
Disney Cruise Line said its 2,713-passenger Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to transit the new locks of the Panama Canal.
The Wonder was expanded in length in a drydock in late 2016 to 984 feet. The original locks in the canal can accommodate ships no longer than 950 feet. The new locks, completed in 2016, are built parallel to the original ones and can take ships up to 1,201 feet long.
The Disney Wonder’s Panama Canal crossing is part of a 14-night voyage from Port Canaveral to San Diego, where the ship will sail cruises to Baja, Mexico, before a summer season from Vancouver to Alaska.
The first trial run with a Post-Panamax cargo ship in the new sets of locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, in Panama City, Panama June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Thanks to https://gcaptain.com for the update.
(The Loadstar) – Ahead of the official opening of the $5.25bn expanded Panama Canal this Sunday, the insurance industry is preparing itself for a big hike in risk from the increase in the value of insured goods as a consequence of the larger ships that will be transiting the waterway.
The new locks, which will create a third lane of traffic for larger neo-Panamax ships of up to around 13,000 teu, will allow more transits and potentially double the capacity of the canal, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
Andrew Kinsey, senior marine risk consultant at Allianz Global, said: “The expansion is significant because it impacts the size and frequency of vessels that call on the US east and Gulf Coast ports.”
A report by the insurer said that larger ships and more frequent transits could mean that up to an additional $1.25bn of insured goods would be passing through the canal in any given day.
“With the increase in size of vessels transiting the canal, you have a corresponding increase in operational, environmental and commercial risks,” explained Mr Kinsey.
The report noted that “bigger ships automatically pose greater risks” in that the sheer amount of cargo carried “dictates that a serious casualty has the potential to lead to a sizeable loss”.
The sinking of the 8,100 teu MOL Comfort after it broke its back in adverse weather off the Yemen coast in July 2013, is to date the largest containership to be recorded as a total loss.
The hull and machinery of the 2008-built ship were insured for $66m, but the biggest hit for insurers came from the 4,300 containers, where contents were reported to have had an insured value of between $50,000 and $1m, taking the estimated cargo claims to between $300m and $400m.
The 9,472 teu Cosco Shipping Panama, with a length of 300 metres and beam 48.25 metres will make the inaugural transit of the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday 26 June.
Prior to the expansion the maximum size of vessel able to navigate the canal was restricted by the 35-metre width of the locks allowing Panamax containerships of only up to around 5,100 teu to transit.
Toll revenues from Panama Canal transits were up 4.4% in 2015, compared to the previous year, at $1.994bn.
Since the canal first opened in 1914 more than 815,000 vessels have transited the waterway.
The Loadstar is fast becoming known at the highest levels of logistics and supply chain management as one of the best sources of influential analysis and commentary.
A post-panamax bulk carrier became the first ship to pass through the Panama Canal’s new locks on Thursday, kicking off a series of trial runs ahead of the expanded canal’s grand opening later this month.
The $5.3 billion expansion project involves the construction of a new set of locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides and multiple dredging projects to create a second lane of traffic along the canal. The new locks are much wider and deeper than the current locks.
The first run was meant to simulate a southbound transit through the new Agua Clara locks on Atlantic side of the 255-meter-long, 43m wide MV Boroque, which was chartered by the Panama Canal Authority specifically for this purpose.
The trial runs will help Panama Canal workers prepare for the start of commercial operations on June 27 when the first vessels will begin using the new “neopanamax” locks on either ends of the canal. Unlike the existing locks, which use locomotives, the new locks require the use of two tugs positioned forward and aft to guide the ships through.
For that reason, Panama Canal pilots and tugboat captains have been required to go through extensive training at the canal’s own simulator training center and a nearby scale model facility, but there’s nothing like the real.
Before heading through the new locks, the MV Boroque was boarded by Panama Canal pilots before entering designated canal waters.
The lead tug here was the Cerro Santiago, one of many built by the Panama Canal Authority in anticipation of the new locks.
Inauguration of the Third Set of Locks project is scheduled for June 26 with commercial operations scheduled to begin the next day. During the initial stage of operation, only four vessels per day will be allowed to use the new locks to allow workers the chance to get used to the new operation.