This is an update on the current situation of the Panama Canal to mitigate the adverse effects of the extended dry season. The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has set the current draft for vessels crossing the Neopanamax Locks to 44 feet from the maximum of 50 feet. The first adjustments were seen in February 2023, with the current level being stable for the past 8 weeks.
Maersk has taken proactive measures to mitigate the situation. The impact of these low water levels has led to operational adjustments, particularly affecting our largest vessels deployed on the Asia/USEC route. To make sure we can offer our customers the needed capacity through the Canal, we have deployed additional vessels, known as extra loaders, to compensate for the loss of capacity.
Besides adding extra loaders, we have adapted our internal processes to match the updated booking requirements of the Canal, securing access to the needed transit slots to ensure minimum impact on our customers.
We can now secure our canal crossings by booking 21 and 24 days in advance for Panamax and Neopanamax vessels, respectively. At the present moment, we do not have any vessel pending a Canal transit booking within this timeframe.
We are diligently working to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain timely crossing schedules and will inform you of changes that will impact your cargo’s journey through the canal.
Thank you for your continued understanding and trust. If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to reach out to your local team. Our customer service and commercial teams are always available to support you.
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