Panama Canal Drought Effects Bite

August 09, 2023

Panama Canal Drought Effects Bite

 

Restrictions at the Panama Canal, in response to persistent low water levels, are causing delays of up to 20 days in crossing times. 

Transits through the waterway have been hampered since May. Rainfall in the first four months of the year brought the lowest water level in two decades and the rainy season has failed to relieve the situation so far.

According to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), restrictions could stay in place until September next year as the current conditions are ‘unusually severe’.

The vessel Ever Max recently had to offload 1,400 boxes before it could enter the canal’s locks from the Pacific, which were moved by rail for pick-up at the Atlantic end of the waterway.

Since June, many carriers have applied surcharges for containers moving through the canal, and the allowed daily transits are now down by 20%.

Panama Canal crossings largely impact North and South American West Coast all water services to and from the UK, along with Asian services to and from the US East Coast.

 

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