Panama Canal Committed to Safe, Continued World Trade
Despite the challenging and unpredictable future our world faces, I would like to offer some certainty on behalf of our team at the waterway. The Panama Canal is operating as normal today and will continue to work with the personnel needed to ensure normal transit operations in the weeks to come. For over 105 years, we have provided a reliable service to global supply chain, adapting however needed through a century’s worth of ebbs and flows to ensure our route remains open for the communities and economies that depend on it. Now more than ever, we are committed to upholding this service. To achieve this, we are following an evolving set of COVID-19 response protocols, developed and coordinated with the Ministry of Health of Panama (MINSA) to guarantee our safe and sustained operations, and safeguard the health and wellbeing of our workforce and our customer’s crews. We began with adopting a series of safety procedures across our operations in January, which have since escalated across our workforce. Recent changes include the reduction of our on-site staff to only those essential to transit operations, and their strict compliance with the guidelines set forth by the Panamanian health authorities for all vessel transits, among other efforts. Throughout this difficult period, our team has remained dedicated and diligent. While we have had some reported cases of COVID-19 among our near 10,000 employees, none has been related to the transit operation, and the Canal will continue to maintain stringent hygiene standards to ensure the safety of our personnel and customers’ crews. As we begin to better understand the real human and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panama Canal team is committed to navigating this new normal head-on to ensure much-needed global supplies and solutions are moving swiftly to their final destinations. We are grateful to support those around the world who are working to keep our global supply chains moving and our communities and families safe.