Carriers using the Panama Canal are now experiencing delays of 15 days or more, due to the restrictions caused by the ongoing drought conditions.

Persistent low water levels have led to less vessel capacity and reductions of around 20% in the number of transits through the waterway each day.

West Coast all water services to and from North and South America are the most impacted by the delays along with services between Asia and the US East Coast.

One vessel recently approached the canal from the Pacific entrance and had to offload 1,400 of its containers due to the restrictions. These containers were then railed to the Atlantic side before being reloaded to the vessel for its onward journey.

Severe drought conditions have impacted the region since May, with the two lakes that supply the canal having their lowest water levels in two decades. This led to carriers introducing a Panama Canal Surcharge from June.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), have recently suggested that the current restrictions may stay in place until September.

If you have any questions regarding the above, then Westbound are here to help. So, please do not hesitate to contact us.