Panama Canal Draft Restrictions Could Cause Shipment Delays

Shipments going through the Panama Canal could see delays beginning next month, according to the Journal of Commerce.  The Panama Canal Authority has set draft restrictions due to the El Nino weather phenomenon that has caused water levels to drop well below average. As of now, the Authority has notified the shipping community of a third draft restriction of 11.59m (38ft) effective May 9, 2016. All vessels loaded after April 11, 2016, are required to comply with these restrictions. The Authority stated that these temporary and preventative restrictions are set to make sure travel and operations through the canal continue to be safe. The Panama Canal will continue to monitor and manage the water levels, giving notice of changes of the draft restrictions at least four weeks in advance. The opening date of the new locks is planned for June 26, with test shipments in May.
We are monitoring the situation and will provide further updates once available.