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Panama Canal Restrictions Update

blog | Dec 04, 2023

The Panama Canal disruptions continue to worsen due to the drought conditions.  

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) cut the number of daily reservation slots from 32 at the beginning of November to 22 as of December 1 and plans to drop to 18 slots by February 1, 2024. 
 
Ship-position data shows a growing number of container ships in Panama Canal queues: 

  • There were 21 container ships on Wednesday, November 29, which is approximately double the number at anchorage this summer. This also includes container ships waiting to berth at Panamanian terminals, not to transit the canal. 
  • Neopanamax container ships that serve US East and Gulf Coast ports secure transit reservations for their scheduled liner services. As of Wednesday, November 29, no Neopanamax ships (with beams over 107 feet) in the queue had been waiting more than 11 days to transit the larger, newer locks. However, the reduction in daily Neopanamax reservation slots to just five per day as of January 1 will likely force some carriers to seek alternate routes. 
     

We understand that the ACP's recent restrictions and operational adjustments have raised concerns regarding transit through the Panama Canal and its potential impact. 

We will continue to closely monitor the situation to keep you informed of further developments and we will work to mitigate any possible impacts to customers’ shipments.

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