Panama Canal Restricting Transit Due to Low Water Levels

panama canal

The dry season is lowering canal water levels and has caused the Panama Canal Authority to impose a transit draft restriction on the canal’s Neopanamax locks, effective April 30.

This restriction will reduce the draft to 13.41 meters Tropical Fresh Water (TFW).

This means that if a vessel exceeds 13.41 meters TFW, after April 30, they will be required to off-load cargo to be allowed transit.

Standard Draft for Neopanamax Locks:  15.24 meters (50.0 feet) TFW

Draft Restriction Effective April 30th       13.41 meters (44.0 feet) TFW

How This May Impact Members: Draft restrictions could cause carriers to limit the amount of containers they can carry per voyage reducing overall container capacity on the Asia to US East Coast Trade.  Carrier may delay or roll cargo due to this capacity reduction, and in a worst case scenario, bookings may be rejected or forced to move on alternate service strings that do not pass through the Panama Canal.

Please contact the Gemini team if you require further information.