Panama Canal Postpones Implementation Of Draft Restrictions After Much-Needed Rain

The Panama Canal is postponing its depth restrictions that were all set to affect the largest vessels crossing the crucial waterway, the canal authority informed, after much-needed rainfall offered relief to the strained passage.

A series of stringent measures were scheduled to come into effect on June 25 and July 9, requiring vessels to float at even higher depths, meaning that they would have to be loaded with less cargo or otherwise shed weight and affect trade in one of the busiest commercial crossings of the world.

Panama’s rain had been prolonged to provide respite to the months-long drought. The rain will likely result in 70 mm to 80 mm of precipitation in the basin in the next 72 hours, per the country’s weather service estimates.

The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal

The Neo-Panamax vessels can continue sailing at the previous depth limit of about 44.0 feet, and Panamax vessels can move at nearly 39.5 feet, the canal authority reported in an advisory to the customers observed by Reuters.

The administration did not clarify when these measures would be postponed but added that it would continue monitoring the water levels and declare upcoming draft adjustments promptly in the future.

The canal authority had declared yet another tightening, set for July 19, but did not refer to this in the client advisory. Relevant officials did not respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

Since the beginning of 2023, the canal had instituted several depth restrictions as a drought, brought about by the El Nino weather phenomenon, had reportedly put pressure on the water supplies.

References: The Rio Times,

Latest Shipping News You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *