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The Panama Canal faces a new challenge: The Dry Season

The Panama Canal is taking decisive action in response to the challenging weather conditions affecting water availability in its surrounding lakes. With the looming El Niño phenomenon, the canal is closely monitoring the situation and implementing water conservation measures during the rainy months to replenish vital water reserves.

 

According to the Panama Canal, the economic impact of the water shortage is unavoidable. “We have been prepared for this issue, but the severity and timing of the current water shortage have exceeded our expectations,” commented Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, Canal administrator.

 

How does the dry season affect the canal?

 

Despite implementing water-saving measures during the May to December rainy season, an unprecedented drought has plagued the region, making this year the driest on record since 1950. However, the canal remains committed to ensuring ample water resources for the population and providing reliable and competitive services to customers throughout the dry season.

 

What actions can we take to support the Panama Canal?

 

Collaborating with experts from the United States Corps of Engineers, the Panama Canal is actively studying different scenarios and growth projects as part of the Water Sustainability System. This long-term initiative aims to find sustainable solutions that guarantee water resources for the canal’s operations over the next 50 years.

 

In response to the current drought, the Panama Canal previously announced at the first quarter of the year, a temporary draft level adjustment for Neopanamax vessels. In the dry season, it will offer vessels transiting the interoceanic route a draft of 14.4 meters, which is slightly lower than the maximum allowable draft of 15 meters.

 

As the world’s most renowned shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Panama Canal handles billions of dollars worth of cargo annually. However, the dry season’s arrival poses a serious risk, with water levels dwindling and raising concerns about navigability and trade disruptions.

The Panama Canal remains resilient in the face of adversity, taking proactive measures to overcome the challenges posed by the dry season and ensuring the smooth flow of global trade.

Clean Shipping Act of 2023 Aims to Safeguard the Environment

The US Congress introduced a legislation known as the Clean Shipping Act of 2023, which sets out to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ocean shipping companies operating within the United States. This bill, led by Congressman Robert Garcia and Senator Alex Padilla, aims to address the environmental impact of the shipping industry, protect the health of port communities, and combat climate change.

 

Protecting Our Oceans, Combatting Climate Change

 

Ocean vessels have long been contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 3% of the world’s total annually. But the Clean Shipping Act of 2023 empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and enforce carbon intensity standards for maritime fuel, signaling a new era of environmental responsibility. Therefore, this legislation not only protects our precious oceans but also sparks a race for sustainable innovation.

 

A Call for Forward Thinking and Ambition

 

The bill also acknowledges the urgent need to protect coastal communities and reduce emissions, particularly in California, which has borne the brunt of shipping pollution. According to this note on Port Technology, Senator Padilla remarked “The health of our communities and the health of our planet requires us to be forward thinking and ambitious—we owe it to future generations.” This legislation reflects the collective responsibility to leave a cleaner and healthier world, urging us to think beyond the present and embrace ambitious environmental solutions.

 

Industry Support and Corporate Responsibility

 

The Clean Shipping Act has gained support from various environmental organizations and major players in the shipping industry. Maersk North America, a leading shipping company committed to decarbonizing operations by 2040, expressed its support for the legislation. Lee Kindberg, Head of Environment & Sustainability at Maersk North America, affirmed the company’s commitment to cleaner practices. Such endorsements demonstrate the growing recognition within the industry of the need for sustainable shipping practices and environmental responsibility.

 

Looking Ahead

 

Moreover, the introduction of the Clean Shipping Act of 2023 marks a significant milestone in promoting cleaner and more sustainable shipping practices while safeguarding the well-being of port communities. Also, the bill’s focus on regulating emissions and establishing environmental standards highlights the collective determination to address climate change and protect our oceans.

As discussions and deliberations progress, this legislation could be a model for other nations to go towards a greener and more ecologically balanced future for the shipping industry.

Sustainable technology in the maritime sector

The world is transforming, and technology has become a sustainable resource at all levels.

New technological tools have contributed to taking not only the infrastructure, but also the development of optimal environmental solutions to the next level.

We know that maritime transport is considerably one of the most important means of transportation. However, over the years, it has been one of the most polluting.

Despite this, thanks to technological development, it is allowing maritime transport to become more sustainable.

Many corporations over the world are already working on significant contributions to make maritime transport sustainable and minimize environmental impact.

Green energy… 

Renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions. Nowadays, wind turbines and solar panels are already being implemented to generate energy. 

Some even use energy storage technology to ensure a constant supply of energy. Technology also allows real-time monitoring of ship emissions, which is why with the management of a monitoring system, important decisions can be made to improve the efficiency of maritime transport. 

Sustainable and efficient design…

Aerodynamic design allows for energy optimization, which is why corporations are working on sustainable designs for ships to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

At the same time, some ships are equipped with hybrid propulsion systems that combine diesel and electric motors to achieve greater energy efficiency.

With this comes the planning of routes and navigation speed if this is achieved travel time is reduced, and fuel is optimized.

If one thing is clear, the fight for a green world is growing, and little by little, technology becomes a sustainable tool to improve CO2 impact on the environment.

 

Find out more news about the maritime and aeronautical world on our blog.

What can be expected for shipping in 2023?

In the last three years, international trade has been affected by the decline in the shipping sector. Which is the main means of transporting cargo that has been affected throughout the supply chain, causing a rise in prices and triggering the so-called container crisis in different regions of the world.

 By 2023, this trend is expected to continue due to economic uncertainty and the different geopolitical conflicts, together with the reduction in the demand for Chinese manufacturing by the United States, which has caused China to cancel the departure of its ships to the USA and Europe. 

This also has a direct impact on Latin America, which has been affected by delivery times and container price increases.

 The shipping industry has been affected since around 2008 when the global economic crisis put its financial viability at risk. However, there have been other variables that have gradually had negative effects on the functioning of the supply chain; such as the increase in fuel and increased competition from both maritime and non-maritime companies with air and rail transport and the Covid-19 pandemic that came to aggravate the situation.

 This crisis has affected the financial position of shipping companies, which have been forced to adapt their operations to new scenarios that allow them to lower their costs, renew their services and become more autonomous. To this end, efforts are underway to revolutionize the industry with technological tools for digital transformation to help create smart ports that continue to operate even when there is a pandemic or the development of green fuels to help reduce the environmental impact of the industry.

 Efforts are aimed at investing in supply chains to make ports, maritime fleets, and connections more prepared for future crises. Improve their service offerings and stay in the game, making strategic changes and transforming a very traditional industry into opportunities for improvements with more efficient processes and full utilization of all its resources.

 

Port of Singapore a world leader

At the end of the year, the Asian Freight, Logistics, and Supply Chain (Aflas) awards were held to recognize the best seaports in the world. 

The AFLAS annually brings together the most important companies in the logistics, supply chain, and cargo sectors. The best ports worldwide are awarded, taking into consideration innovation, service, quality, and consistency, as well as reliability. 

This year, those in charge of selecting the best suppliers awarded the Port of Singapore as the winner of “Best Global Seaport”, due to its efficiency in the sector for complying in efficiency with the supply chain and being cataloged as a leader in maritime transformation. In addition, the Port of Singapore was also ranked as the Best Port in Asia for the 34th time. 

Worldwide recognition 

As mentioned above, this award, held annually, also recognizes the work of ports worldwide, such as the Port of Hamburg, which won “Best Seaport – Europe” for the third consecutive year. 

On the other hand, other ports were awarded by region and different categories, among which the following stand out: 

  • Best seaport in the Middle East: Port of Jebel Ali.
  • The best seaport in North America, the East, and the Gulf Coast region is the Port of Houston.
  • Best seaport in Oceania: is the Port of Auckland.
  • Best global shipping line: CMA CGM.
  • Best Logistics Service Provider – Sea: CEVA Logistics.
  • Best green seaport: HAROPA, Port of Le Havre.

 Port of Singapore, the leader at sea

 The Port of Singapore is known worldwide in the maritime sector in areas such as competitiveness, reliability, and efficiency. 

 In addition, it has a privileged geographical location that facilitates communication with routes all over the world. Also, it has managed to position itself as one of the ports that use Artificial Intelligence and other technologies to manage its port services. 

 This is just a glimpse of the broad spectrum of the maritime world and the efforts to carry forward the technological transformation in the sector. 

 

These and other news about the maritime and aviation world at GP NAUTICALS. 

 

The digital transformation reaches new frontiers

Digital transformation is increasingly reaching new frontiers. Some sectors have taken it from the beginning, while others have only waited a little longer to study the behavior of a world that, as difficult as it may seem, has come to solve many problems. 

The Internet is not new, and neither is machine learning or big data, but recognizing its effectiveness and behavior has taken us a few years. However, many industries use technological developments to leverage the new, transform themselves and break paradigms that years ago they would not have taken into account. 

The aviation sector has been one of those that have been able to take advantage of the new technologies coming to the market to optimize, reduce costs and improve data security.

This has not only served to clarify and improve the industry after the pandemic but also to face new challenges that in the medium term will be favorable. Not only at the industrial level, but also at the administrative level.

Technology is already part of everyday life… 

Most companies today are technological and it is not only about applying technology within the company but also about transforming the business model to sustain, optimize and ensure the effectiveness of the changes that are made within the industry. 

Always hand in hand with clear and specific objectives to implement an action plan aligned to the industry. 

Likewise, it has been demonstrated that automated processes reduce human error and are more optimal when it comes to minimizing manual work times. For this reason, the leap to technology is imminent and now covers a large part of sectors that had remained solely in manual work.

A new agenda for the maritime sector

The maritime sector is not left aside in terms of optimizing its operations, because the environment that develops within the maritime world is already talking about a new moment to optimize the industry, not only at the level of infrastructure but also at the level of operability. 

Worldwide, maritime transportation has been of vital importance to connect new routes, of great affluence that have awakened in the globalization that is currently being experienced. So, although it seemed to have been left aside, it faces a new challenge to continue growing and evolving more and more. 

If you want to know more, keep navigating in our blog.

New challenges after COVID

Now that everything seems to be back to normal, the whole world is preparing to overcome the impact of Covid-19. 

In many countries, routine activities are already taking place as normal, without the need to wear masks. Others are enjoying festivals and concerts, but better yet, travel restrictions have been put aside to embrace the summer. 

Airports around the world are preparing to reach pre-pandemic traffic levels. However, they have faced unexpected challenges such as staff shortages and high passenger demand that have led to delays, cancellations and long queues. 

But this was not an impediment for people to enjoy their vacations after two years of confinement. 

Goodbye to controls… 

Thanks to the leveling of contagions and the good sanitary management in airport structures, countries such as Spain have announced the lifting of COVID controls, it will no longer be necessary to present the COVID passport or the traveler’s form, both at airports and those arriving in the country by cruise ships. 

However, requirements such as PCR tests performed 48 hours in advance and vaccination cards are still required. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of each passenger. Likewise, masks will still be used during flights.

In spite of this, the lifting of the controls is a great step to restructure international schedules and reopen the operation of routes that were still stopped. 

In addition, passengers are guaranteed safety and confidence during flights and stays at the air terminals.

This is why good times are ahead for the aeronautical and port sector. Where challenges will cease to have a negative connotation, to carry out new projects and improve the travel experience of each passenger. 

A reliable alternative… 

In order to accompany the challenges that may arise, GP Nauticals has developed within the SUITE, a specialized software called PAX AIMS, which is ideal to avoid long waiting lines.  In addition, it is capable of auditing the number of passengers passing through the airport facilities, in order to automate processes and optimize check-in and collection times. 

All this thanks to the checkpoints that will be deployed at the airports, which will improve the travel experience from the moment they set foot in the facilities. 

PAX AIMS can be integrated with other SUITE software according to the needs of each customer. If you want to know more information about our products, click here

New initiatives in the maritime sector

In such a changing universe, the challenges are becoming more complex, not only at the economic or social level but also at the environmental level. 

Over the years, the impact of the industrial revolution on the environment has left an almost indelible mark that now shows the consequences of a universe that spoke silently. 

A few years ago, given the environmental collapse, many sectors began to look for ways to reverse and seek balance in the environment, one of them being the maritime and aeronautical sectors. 

In this sense, industry leaders worldwide are looking for ways to develop new forms and methods of combustion that are friendly to the ecosystem. The Getting to Zero coalition is one of the calls to action in the maritime sector that seeks to develop the sustainable deployment of ocean-going vessels, predicted for the year 2030. 

Development of new initiatives

To carry out these actions, it will be necessary to measure the impact on the environment. That is why one of the initiatives forecast for January 2023 will be to measure the Energy Efficiency Index (EEXI) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (IIC). 

This process goes hand in hand with Smart Freight Centre and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which apply their efforts in the logistics of carbon measurement in the sector working together with other organizations worldwide where Maersk, CMA, and CGM stand out. 

With this, it seeks to account for carbon emissions within the supply chain, i.e., supplier-customer to generate conscious logistics. The guide is expected to be published by the end of this year and its next launch during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2023. 

Other green mechanisms… 

Other mechanisms are also part of taking the first steps to seek environmental balance, which is why, thanks to the development of software, the elimination of paper is very close. 

Part of it is the SUITE of GP Nauticals since, besides optimizing processes and times, it eliminates to a great extent the amount of paper that the collection invoices require. 

This software can be integrated according to the needs of each client and are specialized for the maritime and aeronautical sectors.

If you want to know more news about both sectors continues browsing our blog

 

 

Technological development in seaports

The growth of seaports is imminent, every day ports face new challenges that invite them to reinforce their infrastructures and look for new mechanisms and innovate old systems. 

With the consolidation of maritime trade, new transport routes have been opened, an increased number of containers, and new ports that require the optimization of processes amid an ecosystem full of competencies that seeks to minimize human error and sustainability over time.

With this, it is expected that in the medium term, seaports will have to implement certain automation to maintain their sustainability, effectiveness, and efficiency over time. 

Likewise, several of the components of the port sector are already working to implement the automation of maritime containers, autonomous ships, intelligent port warehouses, and more. These are just some of the technological innovations that are expected in the coming years.

Now, all the challenges are positive, and the demand for automation in the processes will help to generate greater safety and efficiency within each of the processes. This involves not only an investment in structure but also in intelligent resources, training and cybersecurity software to safeguard data. 

Less paper and more digitalization 

The changes at the port level will be progressive and adapted to the needs of each seaport. However, the administrative part also deserves digitization to boost the development of a port and thus ensure the optimization of each of the maritime operations. 

That is why, GP Nauticals has developed NAUTIC AIMS, designed to unify maritime and land operations, in a software that manages port revenues, through technologies that allow to collect and analyze information that will also help to measure the performance of ports. 

This SUITE product can also be integrated with PAY AIMS, the software that allows you to manage the payment and collection of invoices through innovative systems that adapt to the needs of each organization. 

 

If you want to keep reading about the latest developments in automation in the port and aeronautical sector, keep browsing our blog

 

NAUTIC AIMS port management software

For some years now, the maritime sector has been growing by leaps and bounds. Maritime transport has become the international transport channel, with great affluence on the main commercial routes. 

From the container crisis to shipping delays worldwide, these are some of the determining factors that major ports have taken to expand and improve their infrastructure, physical and administrative. 

Now, what is behind the management of a port? Undoubtedly, it goes beyond transporting shipments. Efficient development relies on good logistics and compliance with permits and safety regulations. 

In addition, management is not only about the sea lanes. Also about non-maritime operations to ensure an effective supply chain and to be able to meet the stipulated delivery times. 

This has undoubtedly become a major challenge for the port sector. Technological tools and specialized software have been developed to address these needs. 

The reality is that traditional paper is now a thing of the past. From now on, worldwide management and administration are carried out automatically. 

Thanks to this, GP Nauticals was born, a technological organization dedicated to the development of specialized software for the aeronautical and port sector. 

The purpose is to manage in an automated way the port revenues and to attend to the maritime and land operations. 

NAUTIC AIMS, part of SUITE AIMS

Its name speaks for itself, NAUTIC AIMS is software created to manage maritime and non-maritime operations. This, in turn, is part of the SUITE family of GP Nauticals

Its main function is to centralize the port administration, providing sophisticated software with which you can manage the main functionalities of a seaport. 

In this sense, collecting, managing, and processing data from cargo operations, maritime tourism, and shore operations, are part of the work of NAUTIC AIMS. Also, can be integrated with PAY AIMS, to manage billing and financial administration. 

Another advantage of NAUTIC AIMS software is that thanks to data collection, it is possible to perform an analysis of the port’s performance. 

 

If you want to know more about NAUTIC AIMS, just click here.