Panama Canal announces further easing of draught and transit limits

The Panama Canal has announced a series of updated measures to ease restrictions, effective June 26, with further adjustments planned for July 11. The maximum authorised draught will increase to 14.33 metres initially and to 14.63 metres by July 11. Additionally, a new booking slot for the Neopanamax locks will be introduced starting August 5, allowing for a total of 35 ships per day.

These enhancements follow earlier improvements announced in June, which included increasing daily transits to 33 on July 11 and to 34 on July 22. The adjustments aim to enhance scheduling flexibility and address congestion issues exacerbated by prolonged drought in the lakes supplying the waterway. Improved water levels are expected to streamline logistics, reducing delays that have impacted global trade, particularly in the Red Sea.

Recent rainfall has provided a positive outlook for the Canal, potentially stabilising operations and boosting confidence among shippers. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), marking 8 years since the expanded waterway’s inauguration, reaffirms its commitment to maintaining the canal as a reliable and efficient route for global trade. The increased depth limits and additional transit slots are anticipated to accommodate larger vessels and heavier cargoes, enhancing overall throughput and efficiency.