The wait time to pass through the Panama Canal has been reduced to four days, down from more than 10 days last month, the authority that runs the waterway said on November 19th.
Reuters has reported that in order to reduce the backlog, non-critical maintenance was postponed, bookings for priority passage have been reduced twice since mid-October and additional crews have been assigned to increase capacity at the canal’s locks.
More vessels coming from the U.S. Gulf Coast and larger tankers trying to pass through the canal contributed to the backlog, according to the canal authority. Several days of fog affected 107 vessels and a lower lake level also increased the wait time. Marine Traffic showed more than 130 vessels at the end of October between the canal’s two anchorages, including bulkers and tankers.
Historically, the total time to sail the Panama Canal was 15 hours (8 hours of this time is spent waiting).
Follow our blog for updates about the latest shipping news and trade regulations.