According to Reuters, the Panama Canal Authority does not anticipate implementing additional restrictions on vessel transits until at least April, at which point it will assess water levels following the conclusion of the dry season.
a prolonged drought compelled the canal to decrease the daily allowance of passing vessels. However, precipitation during the final quarter of the year in December enabled the canal to lift impending restrictions that were initially scheduled for January.o remind, last year,
Should the anticipated May rains materialize, the canal intends to incrementally raise the daily slots, aspiring to reach its typical number of around 36 vessels per day during the rainy season. However, if the rainfall falls short of expectations, the authority may consider implementing additional restrictions, either on the daily passage or the draft, which represents a vessel’s maximum depth.
According to Deputy Administrator Ilya Espino the canal currently allows vessels with a maximum draft of 44 feet. The Panama Canal Authority has avoided cutting that number because it would force many ships to reduce their loads, making transport of some products unprofitable.Container ships have priority to pass through Panama, but the transit restrictions since last year have hit other categories, especially bulk carriers.
Due to problems at the Red Sea, many people forced to take alternative routes have tried to resort to Panama, but it has not been possible.
Furthermore, as a result of the transit limitations, the Panama Canal Authority anticipates a decrease of up to $700 million in toll revenues for the ongoing fiscal year, concluding in September. In 2024, the canal could experience a shortfall of around 1,500 vessels compared to the usual traffic under normal circumstances, as mentioned by Espino.