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02 Oct

Daily transit limit at the Panama Canal to be cut further

Daily transit limit at the Panama Canal to be cut further

Aware of the ongoing drought potential across the country in this El Nino-hit year, the Panama Canal Authority has taken the decision to cut daily transits even further from the start of November.

Hit by parched conditions for much of 2023, the administrators of the canal have slashed the maximum draft at the larger neopnamamax locks by nearly 2 m as well as cutting daily transits from 40 to 32 a day. This total will now be cut by one to 31 transits a day from November 1, split between nine through the neopanamax locks and 22 through the panamax locks.

The canal’s administrators have done well over the past six weeks to slash waiting times at both ends of the waterway, from a peak of more than 160 ships in early to mid-August to 100 ships today, a figure similar to this time last year and only 10 above the average of the past decade.

The El Niño weather phenomenon tends to bring drier conditions for a longer period to Panama, likely meaning that draft and transit restrictions will be in place throughout the first half of next year.

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