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Number of Ships Waiting for Panama Transit Drops by Half

03 february

# Market News

The queue of ships waiting for transit through the locks of the Panama Canal stands at just half the historical average since the waterway expanded back in 2016, highlighting the dramatic shift in maritime traffic in the western hemisphere in recent months. As reported by Panama Canal Authority (ACP), as of 18 January, there are just 45 ships in the queue awaiting transit, exactly 50% less than the average of the last 8 years. Northbound vessels have to wait the longest to pass through this waterway.

The average days in the queue of vessels without a transit slot reservation is 15.1 days. Meanwhile, southbound ships only have to idle for 3.6 days. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) increased transits through this waterway to 24 a day. It became possible following solid amounts of rain over the past seven weeks.

Restrictions connected with the draught in the Panama Canal area and the low water level of Gatun Lake, which feeds the canal, have been in place for more than half a year. Lingering drought has seen the Panama Canal Authority limit the maximum draft of vessels passing through this waterway, as well as cut daily slots by 40%. This caused numerous vessels to switch from the Panama Canal to other routes.

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