Thursday, October 5, 2023
HomeHeadlinesDrought-hit Panama Canal further restricts maximum ship depth


To our FREE newsletter
Get all the latest maritime news delivered straight to your inbox.

Drought-hit Panama Canal further restricts maximum ship depth

The Panama Canal will expand restrictions on the largest ships crossing the waterway, one of the world’s busiest trade passages, the canal authority’s administrator said on Wednesday, citing shallower waters due to drought.

The measure follows a series of depth restrictions in the 50-mile (80 km) canal since the beginning of the year due to a drought, which authorities had hoped would ease by the start of the Central American country’s rainy season.

Ship traffic, including container ships and oil tankers, using the canal between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean accounts for about 3.5% of global trade.

The new restrictions, which will take effect Sunday, limit neo-Panamax container ships to a depth limit of 43.5 feet (13.3 metres) meaning they must either carry less cargo or shed weight in order to float higher.

The previous maximum draft was 44.0 feet.

Panamax ships, which use the canal’s older locks, will also face tighter rules on July 9, the port administration told clients in an advisory seen by Reuters.

Both classes will see a further limit applied on July 19.

Port administrator Ricaurte Vasquez said the July 19 measure will depend on how much rain pours into the lake system surrounding the canal, calling the current lack of rainfall “worrisome” as the canal basin must also provide additional drinking water for residents.

El Nino, a periodic warming weather phenomenon, has brought a severe drought along the Pacific coast.

Despite the new rules limiting ships’ weight, Vasquez said the flow of ships through the canal has carried on as expected so far.

He warned this could, however, see an impact depending on rainfalls and higher route costs due to the new limits.

The limits will not affect liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, as they typically report drafts of up to 37 feet, according to the canal authority.

Source: Reuters

Related Posts


Finance & Economy
Shipping News

Golden Ocean: Renewal of share buy-back program

Reference is made to the announcement by the Board of Directors in Golden Ocean Group Limited (OSE/NASDAQ: GOGL) dated 4 October 2022 regarding the...

DHT Holdings announces share buyback

DHT Holdings announced that the Company during the third quarter has purchased 1,137,583 of its own shares, equivalent to 0.7% of its outstanding shares,...

Scorpio Tankers takes options to buy back over 20 ships

In a relevant SEC filing, Scorpio Tankers announced extensive vessel repurchases via sale and leaseback arrangements, including for the 2016-built LR2 product tanker STI...

TOP Ships Announces Reverse Stock Split

TOP Ships announced that it has determined to effect a 1-for-12 reverse stock split of the Company’s issued common shares. The Company’s shareholders approved the...

Carnival Earnings Outlook Misses While Fuel Costs Near 15-Year High

Carnival Corp. posted a profit for the first time since 2020 but issued a fourth quarter earnings outlook that missed Wall Streets’ expectations as...

ABS, Crowley Advance Augmented Reality Technology for Maritime

Crowley and ABS, a leading provider in maritime classification and advisory services, have entered...

Baltic index hits over 11-month peak on capesize strength

The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index rose to its highest in...

MSC to buy 50% stake in Italian passenger rail group Italo

Shipping group MSC has entered into a binding agreement to acquire a 50% stake...

Higher capesize rates drive Baltic index higher

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk...

Baltic index snaps 4-day winning streak as capesize rates slip

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk...

Ukraine: 5 More Cargo Ships Head For Black Sea Ports – report

Five more ships are on their way to Ukrainian sea ports using a new corridor opened to resume predominantly agricultural exports, an alternative arrangement...

Piraeus Port reports strong H1 2023 results

The Piraeus Port Authority SA, which operates Greece’s biggest and busiest port, reported a 48.8-percent increase in pre-tax earnings for H1 2023 – 49.4...

Greece names Thessaloniki port operator preferred bidder for Volos port

Greece’s privatisation agency has named the operator of Thessaloniki port as the preferred bidder for acquiring a 67% stake in the port of Volos,...

Drewry: Port Throughput Index Down 2.1% in July

The Global Container Port Throughput Index fell 2.1% MoM in July 2023, with the small rises recorded in Africa and Oceania having been insufficient...

Vopak: Agreement with Infracapital on sale of Rotterdam chemical terminals

Vopak announces that it has reached an agreement with Infracapital on the sale of its three chemical terminals in Rotterdam (Botlek, TTR and Chemiehaven)...