Improving Signs For The Panama Canal

June 27, 2024

Improving Signs For The Panama Canal

It has been more than a year since severe drought has been heavily restricting operations at the Panama Canal, but it now looks as though the waterway will be returning to near normal operations by the middle of next month.

The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) recently confirmed that, starting from 22nd July, the number of daily transits permitted with be rising to 34, which is the lower end of the average 34-38 vessels that were passing before the el-nino induced drought.

Water levels in the two artificial lakes that feed the canal’s tiered lock system have been a desperately low levels since last April, which has been severely affecting its operations.

The canal has witnessed major congestion and queues at both of its entrances since the problems begun, and the daily transits fell as low as just 20 per day. At one point during the crisis, ship owners were encouraged to enter daily auctions to pay to jump to the front of the queue, with bids reaching as high as $1 million.

The Central American waterway is the only passing point for container ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is seen as essential to global trade, often rivalling the Suez Canal on round the world services.

The developments at the Panama Canal provide the shipping industry with some much needed positive news, at a time when the Suez Canal volumes have fallen drastically due to the Houthi ship attacks.

 

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