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Volume 15, Number 9
May 10, 2009

economy

Also in this section:
The state of the Panamanian labor movement
New twists for US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement ratification process
ACP selling the Hercules
A documentary tale from the "expat community"




Historic German-made crane for sale

The Germans were the master floating crane makers of the 20th century, and because for Panama Canal locks overhauls it takes 80 tons or more of lift to get the gates on and off their hinges, the former American canal administration commissioned the construction of two of the world's great floating cranes, the Atlas and the Hercules.

Editor's note: As Mike Plucker, who used to work on the Hercules, pointed out, an earlier version of this story was incorrect in stating that the gates weigh 80 tons. Actually, they are much heavier than that, but are hollow and buoyant and thus can be lifted off of their hinges and floated away with far less force than it would take to, for example, lift them and move them on land.

Later, another huge crane, the Titan --- also known as "Herman the German" --- was taken as a war prize after the defeat of the Nazi regime and, after years of service at the port of Long Beach, California, made its way to Panama.

The Atlas has been converted into a training vessel and now the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is selling the Hercules. That still leaves the Titan, but the Hercules sale raises the question of whether the ACP plans to cut costs by outsourcing locks overhaul work.




Also in this section:
The state of the Panamanian labor movement
New twists for US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement ratification process
ACP selling the Hercules
A documentary tale from the "expat community"


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© 2009 by Eric Jackson
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