Panama Canal Design Restrictions May Halt Coastal Shift

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced that it will impose stricter draft restrictions on ships traversing the canal during a drought season and require shipping companies to reduce loading on US Asia East Coast in Panama and commuter loops. The reduced loading will force transpacific shipping lines to impose heavy surcharges on shipments on all waterways on the east coast of Asia and will lead to some shipping routes being rerouted through the Suez Canal. Meanwhile, Hapag-Lloyd announced that it will introduce a Panama Canal Charge (PCC) of $500 per container effective from 1 June for all cargo loaded across the canal on its Asia-US East Coast voyages.

The level of Lake Gatun, the largest of the two lakes that feed the canal, has fallen faster than predicted, after rainfall between February and April was less than half the period’s average. Consequently, starting 30 May, the maximum allowable draft for ships passing through the Neopanamax locks is 13.41m. The ACP has said that it will continue to monitor subsequent draft restrictions and provide timely notification of future design adjustments.

Tags: Container shipping,Panama Canal,Draft restrictions of the Panama Canal


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