Tug dispute slows new canal locks transit

681Views 1Comments Posted 13/04/2018

After a stoppage of ships transiting the Panama Canal new locks on Thursday, Apr.12  because of a dispute with the captains of tugboats, operations continued on Friday with some pilots opting to take postpanamax vessels through the waterway without the lead tug.

This resolves the problem but it requires going with more caution and perhaps more slowly," said the ACP

Some  tug captains refused to work without a third seaman on the tugboat, reported the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The original Canal locks, where the operation is carried out with locomotives, have been operating normally.

The spat with  tug captains emerged after the decision of the  Canal administration  to do away with on  April 12, a third seaman in the Alpha (lead) tugboat as it was introduced on a temporary basis when the third set of locks started operations, on June 26, 2016.

The five transits that were scheduled for Thursday could not be completed because of  the decision of the tug captains, with negative consequences for,  the economy of the country and the reputation of the Panama Canal at an international level says the ACP.

Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) rejected the actions taken by the tugboat captains.

The Chamber   president Inocencio Galindo said that "the Panama Canal provides a fundamental service for world trade, and cannot afford any kind of paralysis."

Galindo added that "the measure taken by tug captains not only has a negative impact on the Panama Canal,  but  is detrimental to the national economy ".

Any  of differences that exist between collaborators of the channel and  the administration must be resolved through dialogue, without affecting the correct functioning of it.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that it initiated a process to sanction some captains.