November 13, 2023

PANAMA CANAL QUEUE GROWS 13% IN THE SPACE OF 24 HOURS

The number of ships waiting to transit the Panama Canal has leapt by 13% in the space of just 24 hours as drastic transit cuts kick in at the drought-hit waterway that accounts for 3% of all global maritime trade. Following the driest year on record, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has been cutting both daily transit volumes as well issuing draft restrictions across the canal, a waterway that requires 52m gallons of freshwater on average per vessel transit. Further significant transit cuts were announced last week that will over time see the number of voyages cut to just 18 a day by February, down from a maximum of 40 during normal times. As of 02.30 am local time this morning, there were 112 ships waiting to transit the canal, up from 99 yesterday, and some 22 above the average 90 vessels recorded over the last seven years. At its worst moment, back in August of this drought-ridden year, the canal had more than 160 ships waiting to cross. Many shippers and shipowners have decided to take alternative routes, aware of how containerships will gobble up the lion’s share of the limited available slots in the coming months.

LINK: https://seafarertimes.com/2020-21/node/8707