A good indication of this is the decrease in the Baltic Dry Index, which is composed of the prices of the maritime transportation of dry cargo. In November 2008, the index was 891 points while the index had reached 11,973 in May of that year - suffering in that period a fall of 11 times its value.
The prosperity of the previous years, with the growing demand of maritime freights, had induced shipping companies to invest in the construction of more and larger ships. Today, many of those ships do not sail while the international routes are canceled or reduced in frequency.
As for the impact of this crisis in the Panama Canal, Melissa Novoa, in an article of Financial Tuesday, indicates that "In the Authority of the Panama Canal (ACP), they had already been preparing for what was to come. It has been more than one year that they have been anticipating this economic deceleration and the impact that the crisis was going to have on traffic, which had brought them to make adjustments in the forecasts of growth in tax year 2008 (September 1 to October 31)."
At the Office of International Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Commerce the negative impact that it would have on the country's maritime activity has been noted.
The law has been harshly criticized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici), who also considered that the agreements violate promotion and protection of investments and trade agreements signed by Panama.
The amount of containers transported went up by 5% between 2014 and 2015, while freight movement in tonnes grew by 7% in the same period.
According to the Maritime Authority of Panama, the only items that showed a negative percentage rate when comparing the months of January and February 2014 and 2015 were the movement of cruise passengers and the movement of vehicles.
The ratification of the 2001 Bunker Convention by Panama will increase insurance costs for ships.
The "International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage," means that the owner of the ship is responsible for pollution damages caused by bunker fuel in the ship and for covering the cost of preventative measures.
In the first quarter of 2009, the tonnage of freight transported through the canal declined by 3.3% and ship transit fell by 1.4%.
The most affected segment of vessel transit was vehicle carriers, mainly due to the sharp drop in car sales in the United States, followed by container ships and cruise ships, which also reported declines.
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