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            november 17, 2019

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Risk rises when bigger ships carry more via expanded Panama


The Panama Canal Authority has been warned that the greater the value of the cargo transitting the expanded waterway, the greater the risk of loss in the event of accident, according to Shipping Gazette.
"The level of training provided to pilots will be extremely important. Attempting to manoeuvre one of these vessels through such a restricted space in itself creates a much bigger hazard," said Allianz Insurance risk expert Rahul Khanna.
The value of cargo transitting the canal will increase as much as US$1.3 billion a day when it opens and there will be an increased risk of accidents, according the expert from the Munich-based financial services giant.
Its report, Panama Canal 100: Shipping Safety and Future Risks, Allianz said that the opening of the third set of locks would enable an additional 12-14 ships to transit every day.
In addition, the upper size of ship that can use the canal will increase from 4,400 TEU to 12,600 TEU, Lloyd's List reported.
Allianz said the larger vessels and increased number of transits would "challenge the Panama Canal's improved safety record over the past decade with the risks exacerbated through the initial period of the canal opening".
"Larger ships pose greater risks. A fully-loaded 12,600 TEU ship is as long as four football fields with a beam of up to 49 metres and could have an insured cargo value of $250 million," said Mr Khanna.

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