Panama Canal Allowing More Ships Through, Following Drought

A backlog of vessels waiting to pass through the Panama Canal due to drought-related restrictions has eased in recent days after the waterway’s authority authorized more non-booked ships to pass and as others are choosing alternate routes to avoid the delays.

The Panama Canal Authority last week opened two additional slots per day for vessels without booking to transit to help clear bottlenecks on both sides of the interoceanic corridor.

It has, however, kept the total number of ships passing through per day to a maximum of 32, versus 36 per day in normal conditions.

A historic drought has slowed shipping through one of the world’s busiest waterways amid restrictions implemented in recent months, including reducing the draft of ships passing through and limiting crossings.

As of Tuesday, 125 booked and non-booked vessels were waiting to pass, down from more than 160 ships two weeks ago, according to official numbers.

Another 40 vessels were approaching the waterway, versus 50 two weeks ago.

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