Friday, July 06, 2012

Fact Friday: Truck Accidents at their Lowest

No one is questioning the need for greater truck safety. In fact, truck-related fatalities per 100 million miles traveled are at their second-lowest point since the government began compiling that data in 1975.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Brazilian Customs Officers’ Strike Disrupts Ports

Breakbulk Online - News Story
Strikes by Brazilian customs officers have disrupted major ports in the country. Cargo clearance has significantly slowed, reported Inchscape Shipping Services.

"Unless this week’s negotiations with the government around better salaries and working conditions are successful, interruption to vessel movements is likely to intensify," Francisco Villagr├ín, general manager for ISS operations in Brazil, told reporters.

Affected ports include Santos, Paranagua, Salvador, Manaus, Santarem, Santana and Itacoatiara.
Customs officers have been on a limited strike schedule, which includes two days of no work and minimal levels on the remaining days of the week, according to a statement from Inchscape.

However, customs leaders have warned that if the negotiations over the next few days are unsuccessful, they will start a full strike that could affect the whole country and paralyze Brazil including ports, airports and bonded warehouses.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Panama Canal Authority Confirms 6-Month Delay

Breakbulk Online - News Story

Despite delay, the first monolith has been completed at the Pacific Locks

The Panama Canal Authority's US$5 billion expansion project has fallen six months behind schedule, which could mean that the new locks will not be operational until 2015, authority officials announced on national television.

"The company is trying to catch up with lost time,'" said Alberto Aleman Zubieta, the authority's chief executive officer. Problems arose late last year when officials determined that the concrete for the project did not meet specified standards.

The project was originally slated for completion in October 2014. Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double tonnage capacity and allow the transit of much longer, wider ships through the waterway.

However, construction reached an important milestone earlier this month with the completion of the first monolith for the new locks on the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. The monolith is the first one to be completed from a total of 46 such structures being built in the Pacific locks upper chamber, Panama Canal Authority officials said in a statement.

The concrete and steel structure is 33.8 meters high, 7.5 meters wide and 27 meters deep. The culverts are part of the locks filling and emptying system and will run along the lock walls, which are made up of the monoliths. The construction of this single monolith required 232 tons of reinforced steel and 2,605 cubic meters of concrete.

Photo shows work on the first monolith, part of the filling and draining system at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. Courtesy of the Panama Canal Authority.