Panama Canal, New Restrictions Due to Drought

The Panama Canal is one of the busiest trade routes in the world, so traffic restrictions represent a global economic problem.

The drought and its impact on the Panama Canal are a problem that has been worrying the global economy for months. The water levels in the two artificial reservoirs that feed the canal connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean have been troubling for months, and the transit regulator has already lowered the maximum draft of vessels underway and increased tariffs several times.

It is one of the busiest trade corridors in the world, so traffic restrictions are creating a global economic problem. The authorities hoped that the situation would normalize with the arrival of the rainy season, but at the moment this has not happened.

For this reason, we are moving towards expanding restrictions to larger vessels starting on Sunday, with the possible introduction of further restrictions in July. This will depend on the amount of precipitation. The supply lakes are not exclusively designated for the use by the Panama Canal but are also being used for civilian purposes.

For the time being at least, traffic is quite normal, and even with the new restrictions there will be no problems for ships carrying liquefied gas (whose draft is also subject to upcoming restrictions). However, in the long run, serious problems can arise and increase the cost of shipping through the channel.