Panama Canal increases vessel draft ahead of schedule

Panama Canal Increases Maximum Authorized Draft to 13.7 Meters

The Panama Canal has issued an advisory to shipping lines, announcing that, as of yesterday, the maximum authorized draft has been increased to 13.7 meters.

Originally scheduled to take effect on June 15, this change is being implemented earlier due to the anticipated onset of the rainy season in the Panama Canal watershed and the current and projected water levels of Gatun Lake in the coming weeks.

As of May 16, the number of daily transits through the Panamax locks has increased from 17 to 24. Starting tomorrow, the number of daily transits through the Neopanamax locks will increase from seven to eight, bringing the total number of vessel transits per day to 32.

Since May 26, the water levels in Gatun and Alhajuela Lakes have, for the first time in 2024, exceeded those recorded on the same date in 2023, due to the onset of the rainy season.

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