The Panama Canal is set to impose draft limits on neo-Panamax vessels due to low water levels caused by a lack of rainfall. From 24 May, ships will be limited to a draft of up to 13.56 meters, dropping again to 13.41 meters on 30 May, with the normal operating draft of 15.24 meters being significantly reduced. This is due to historically low levels of rain during February to April, with Lake Gatun expected to see historic drops by July, which will limit the amount of cargo that can be carried.
Container ships accounted for 45% of traffic in April followed by LNG, dry bulk and LNG carriers through the Panama Canal. The neo-Panamax vessels are the largest ships that can navigate the waterway, and the draft limits imposed due to the drought will have an impact on shipping logistics.