Customer Advisory- Updates of Current Drought at Panama Canal

Dear Valued Customer, 

We would like to provide you with an update on the current drought situation at Panama Canal. Due to the El Nino effect the canal has faced serious drought since earlier this year.

Effective October 1st, new regulations further restrict the daily vessels allowed through the canal from an average of 36-38 ships to 31 ships per day (9 ships by NeoPanamamax and 22 ships by Panama Locks) with weight restrictions due to a drought that has reduced the supply of fresh water needed to operate the locks. This has caused a backlog of hundreds of vessels with wait times of up to 21 days. In addition, the Panama Canal Authority has narrowed the booking window for transit reservations for both the NeoPanamax (90 days to 31 days) and Panama Locks (90 days to 15 days).

Without a doubt, container weight and space will continue to be an issue for EC cargos via Panama Canal in 2023. For our valued customers, we suggest considering the Suez Canal as an alternative option or book well ahead of time.

Please reach for more information on the official Panama Canal website and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact your USPTI associate.

Thanks as always for your continued support.