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Delays at Panama Canal

Ongoing drought at the Panama Canal causes ship congestion awaiting transit

Panama Canal

A recent drought at the Panama Canal has influenced the local authority to limit the daily number of reserved slots through the Canal to help alleviate a number of congested ships currently awaiting transit. This decision was made in hopes to conserve water amid the ongoing drought in the region and will remain in effect until August 21.

Current ship congestion

According to CNBC, “the number of vessels waiting to cross the Panama Canal has reached 154, with an average wait time of 21 days.” It is expected that the water levels in the Gatun Lake will start to rise in mid to late September.

Significance for US cargoes

The Panama Canal serves as a vital trade route for US shippers destined for Gulf and East Coast ports. Furthermore, CNBC states that the “the US is the largest user of the Panama Canal, with total US commodity export and import containers representing about 73% of Panama Canal traffic. 40% of all US container traffic travels through the canal every year, about $270 billion in cargo.”

DSV is monitoring the situation closely and will be sure to keep our partners and clients informed. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local DSV representative.

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