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UN's sulphur fuel emissions cap stands to reverse Panama Canal's gains

HIGH fuel prices prompted by the UN mandated sulphur cap could divert 1

03 February 2019 - 19:00

HIGH fuel prices prompted by the UN mandated sulphur cap could divert 1.2 million TEU back to US west coast and reduce the use of the Panama Canal that now drains Asian cargo from west to east coast ports, says one expert.

'Just because the macro [economic] trends are in your favour, does not mean that the cargo will flow,' said Josh Hurwitz, of Moffatt & Nichol port engineering specialist Josh Hurwitz.



As keynote speaker at the American Association of Port Authorities (PA), Mr Hurwitz dampened the optimism of the Port of Tampa, Florida, which saw itself at the dawn of a bonanza of Asian cargo via Panama, reported Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.



The expanded Panama Canal saw container trade switching from the US west coast calls, but higher fuel costs because of the IMO's 2020 sulphur cap could drive a massive re-diversion back to west coast, he said.


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