River Parana Maximum Draft Announcement
In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.
The maximum daily draft announcement is a routine practice whereby the Ministry of Transport every day announce the draft available at the shallow passes on the River Parana. Depending on the position of the ports and the shallow passes the max sailing draft is calculated. In times, such as now when the River is at an extremely shallow level, close to, or below, 34 feet 00 inches/10.36 meters it is safe and common practice to stop loading operations on vessels which may be completing close to the 10:00 a.m. announcement until the draft is announced so that vessels do not find themselves “trapped” at the loading port. Part of this practice is to stop loading with one (1) foot/30 centimeters less than the previous max sailing draft and then wait for the announcement.
Lately, the last two or three weeks, the draft announcement has been delayed, in some cases, until 14:00 hours due to the very low water in the River Parana and the many shallow passes that must be surveyed. This late announcement causes significant delays on vessels which may have stopped loading during the night waiting for the announcement during the next morning.
Many loading terminals feel they are affected by this and are claiming “lost time” expenses from the vessels because of what is a common sense approach. This seems to be a very self-centered approach and can only be remedied by a timely announcement which in today’s extreme circumstances cannot always be made. The most interesting example was on Friday May 08th and later during the weekend when a max draft was announced and the river draft was affected later during the day by a crumbling of the canal downriver.
It must be understood that “special” circumstances arise and must be dealt with day-by-day and case-by-case basis.
Will keep you posted.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
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