The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued an updated Advisory to Shipping to alert all Canal shipping agents, owners and operators that water conditions at this time do not warrant the need to institute a second draft restriction, which was tentatively scheduled for September 15, 2015.
Due to recent rainfall the Panama Canal watershed has experienced, the Canal has postponed the need for the second restriction which was announced earlier this month.
The first maximum authorized transit draft restriction of 11.89 meters (39.0 feet) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW) will still be effective on September 8, 2015 and continue until further notice. Vessels arriving after this date with drafts over the limit of 11.98 meters may be allowed to transit the waterway depending on the water level of Gatun Lake at the actual time of transit.
These measures are being taken to ensure the continuous and safe operation of the Canal during this period and are not expected to significantly affect the efficiency or capacity of Canal operations. The Panama Canal continues to monitor and manage the water levels of Gatun and Alhajuela Lakes to ensure the security and efficiency of its services.
Should further draft restrictions be confirmed, notice will be given at least four weeks in advance to allow time for customers’ proper planning.