CLIENT ADVISORY: Panama Canal Update – November 2 | SEKO Logistics
What’s the latest
The Panama Canal Authority announced a further reduction in the average daily number of ships allowed to navigate the canal. Beginning November 3, the daily number of ships to transit the canal will be reduced from 31 to 25.
The bigger picture
This year’s severe drought conditions, combined with the El Niño weather pattern, are continuing to cause significant challenges at the canal, forcing additional cuts to the average daily number of ships allowed to transit the canal. In fact, the Canal Authority recently reported October as the driest on record since 1950 due to 41% less rainfall than average.
As of November 1, the Canal Authority is urging customers to make reservations in order to transit as programmed. In recent months, waiting times saw a decrease from 160 ships in early to mid-August to 100 ships, which is in line with waiting times last year and only 10 above the average for the past decade. However, according to the Waterfront Maritime Services, supply chains for goods frequently transported through the canal are expected to still be slowed moving forward. This will continue to affect trade between China, Japan, South Korea, and certain regions of the U.S. in particular, as the Panama Canal facilitates 46% of container movement from northeastern Asia to the U.S.
Over the next three months, we can expect the number of booking slots to be cut again, from 25 to 18 at the start of February 2024.
Vessels in Queue for Transit in the Panama Canal
|Vessels in Queue for Transit||35||58|
Waiting Time Forecast
|VESSEL TYPE||NORTH BOUND||SOUTH BOUND|
|NeoPanamax||5-6 Days||3-4 Days|
|Panamax Plus||5-6 Days||3-4 Days|
|Regulars||2-3 Day||3-4 Days|
*Source: Waterfront Maritime Services Panama Canal Waiting Times (Oct. 26, 2023)
The bottom line
We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and provide timely updates to those impacted. If you have any specific questions about your shipments, contact your SEKO representative directly.
We are your logistics partner, ready and able to pivot quickly in the face of challenging climatic circumstances. As the delays persist, our team is prepared to help find alternative routes (e.g., West Coast or Suez Canal re-routes, depending on the point of origin), where necessary and create a solution that works for your business and your customers.
If you have questions, please reach out to your SEKO representative, or email us at email@example.com.
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