Panama Canal Drought: Backlog Continues

Panama Canal faces an escalating backlog, pushing shippers to diversify and costs to rise. The world watches as resolutions unfold.

Panama Canal Drought:  Backlog Continues
Image Source: MarineTraffic

Traffic snarls at the Panama Canal are intensifying, affecting trade and shipping worldwide. The recent figures depict a worrisome trend:

  • Vessel Backlog: As of Wednesday, 140 vessels were waiting at the Panama Canal, an increase from 130 just a day prior.
  • Waiting Times: 10-11 days average waiting time this month, a leap from 6-7 days the previous month.

Shippers are reeling under the pressure, forced to distribute products across multiple vessels, invariably escalating costs. Energy shipments face significant reroutes to avoid the canal, incurring additional delays.

In a move to mitigate these bottlenecks, the Panama Canal Authority has made provisions for more non-booked ships to transit. Still, the daily cap remains restricted to a maximum of 32 vessels, four less than usual. Recent rainfall hasn’t brought much relief, with weight limitations still in place due to a draft restriction of 44 feet, affecting several ship types, including tankers and bulk carriers.

Goods Impacted: The goods feeling the impact range from Halloween costumes and wares to fuels and chemicals.

Source: Reuters

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