Why the delay for Panama Canal Transit?

Regarding the concern of the shipping lines, agencies and users of the Panama Canal, we will like to indicate that the current delays customers are experiencing are caused because the Panama Canal is in the months of high transit demand (seasonal peak). When demand exceeds capacity, it is expected that there will be an increase in waiting times for vessels that do not obtain a reservation to transit (Pre-booking system).

In turn, when the dry season arrives, the Panama canal implements water-saving measures to ensure the continuity of operations and, at the same time, the water required for human consumption. Some of these measures increase processing time in the locks, and therefore, the capacity of the Canal is impacted.

Finally, and despite the limitations mentioned before, the Panama canal Authorities informed that they are trying to do their utmost to reduce the queue of vessels during March, including almost 39 daily transits, compared to the 36.3 for the average in March 2021. The maritime community hopes that with the measures that canal authority is taken, the present backlog can reduce to acceptable levels in the coming weeks, subject to the behaviour of vessels arrivals.

Customers should consider the following for the analysis

Transit prospects are prepared to take into consideration:

  • The current number of booked and non-booked vessels considered as arrived (and ready for transit)
  • The number of vessels due to arrive (booked and not) considering the daily average of vessels per month taken from numbers of the previous month

Therefore, please be aware that the PCA will take a different number of vessels every day due to the mix of available vessels (various restrictions) and their own discretion/strategy/ consideration.

For more information, contact Antonio Tigert at +507 67253555 or eMail antonio.tigert@WaterFront-ms.com

Our General Manager, David Rodriguez, is a Panamanian citizen and has over 20 years of experience in senior management positions within the shipping industry and has a wealth of knowledge in digital transformations in the Maritime sector. Contact David Rodriguez at +507 202 5950 or eMail panama.ops@waterfront-ms.com.