Drought hits Panama Canal shipping
The ongoing drought at the Panama Canal, a critical global shipping route, has led to prolonged ship delays. In response, the Panama Canal Authority has extended shipping restrictions until 2 September 2023, limiting daily passages from 36 to 32 ships and requiring vessels to be 40% lighter due to lower water levels.
Recently, over 140 ships were near the canal, up from the usual 90, but fewer than previously. According to the visibility hub of the transport management platform 'Transporeon', approximately 45% of ships manage to transit within three days. Meanwhile, others are left waiting or considering alternative routes. This has repercussions for both businesses and consumers, compelling shipping companies to implement surcharges to offset the delays.
Roughly 6% of global trade and 40% of the USA’s total container traffic – amounting to approximately USD 270 billion in freight value – navigate through the Panama Canal annually. (pb)