Panama Canal, 2022 – The Panama Canal, a conduit for maritime trade connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is working with Senzary to install Kerlink sensors and keep track of passing ships and their environmental footprint.

The Panama Canal Authority charges reduced tariffs to lesser polluting vessels passing through the waterway, and Senzary’s sensors will assist them in detecting ships that do not comply with their green initiative.

Senzary will be identifying vessels not compliant with the use of more sustainable fuel sources.
The meteorological stations and sulfur emissions controls will be integrated with marine traffic information using LoRaWAN to gather data about each ship and its position throughout the canal in real-time. This way, we can calculate the dispersion of the emissions specific to each vessel as they cross the canal.

Sensors will cover gates Cocolil, Jose Miguel and Miraflores. Each sensor installed by Senzary as well as each meteorological station is connected to a LoRaWAN gateway which receives the data from the sensors and alerts engineers on site of any non-compliant ships. Any non-compliant ships will be charged extra fees and encouraged to make changes.

The introduction of the Green Ship Classification comes “in recognition of the urgency of climate change and the need to accelerate industry and global climate action,” says Ricaurte Vásquez, the administrator of the Panama Canal, according to a press release provided by the Authority.
Projections show that the Green Ship Classification is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during transit through the Canal by between 20% and 100%.

The new Green Ship Classification will see eligible vessels– ships over 125 feet long (38.1 meters)– and will be based on three factors, including energy efficiency built into the ship’s design, employment of efficiency-promoting measures such as bow thrusters, and the use of more sustainable fuel sources, including zero carbon biofuels and other carbon neutral fuels.

The Panama Canal is highly important to the Panamanian economy, generating almost 6% of gross domestic product (GDP), as well as being a crucial piece of infrastructure to the international shipping industry.

Each year, an estimated 14,000 cargo vessels pass through the Canal, which reduces transit between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by up to 8,000 nautical miles — more than 10 days of travel for many container ships.