Three Extra Daily Transit Slots Added to Panama Canal

Ships transiting the Panama Canal
Updated Published

Significant rainfall has enabled the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to introduce three additional daily transit slots at its panamax locks, raising the daily transit cap to 27. While still below the canal's typical maximum capacity, this increase marks an improvement from the severe drought conditions experienced since last June.

Starting March 18, two of these extra slots will be available via auction, with a third slot opening up for transits beginning March 25.

Under normal conditions, the canal has the capacity to accommodate up to 40 vessels per day. However, due to the drought, not only have daily transits been reduced, but the maximum allowable draft at the canal's larger locks has been significantly decreased by nearly 2 meters.

Currently, 54 ships are queued for passage, a notable decrease from the peak of over 160 ships last August.

In the last 10 months, the extended wait times and elevated toll charges have led a considerable portion of the global merchant fleet to bypass the canal.