06 December 2023 - Update 03
We would like to provide you with the latest update on the status of the Panama Canal. As the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced additional measures to face the lack of rainfall in the Canal area and the upcoming dry season.
At Maersk, we have been closely monitoring the situation and, thus far, we are able to continue making and securing timely canal transits to support our customers. We continue to adapt our internal processes to match the updated booking requirements of the Canal, securing access to the transit slots needed to ensure minimum impact on our customers.
We appreciate your continued understanding and trust during these times. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your shipments, please do not hesitate to contact your Maersk representative, your local Customer Experience team or via Chat.
09 November 2023 - Update 02
We want to provide you with an update regarding the current situation at the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has been implementing various measures due to the prolonged dry season and insufficient precipitation in the Canal watershed.
The PCA has reduced the daily transit capacity to about 32 vessels per day since July 30, 2023. Most recently, the PCA announced new limits that are likely to lead to fewer than 24 passages a day in November, and as of February 1, 2024, until further notice, the number of booking slots will be reduced to 18 per day.
We understand that the PCA's recent restrictions and operational adjustments have raised concerns regarding transit through the Panama Canal and its potential impact. At this time, Maersk continues to be able to secure timely canal transits in support of our customers. We are taking necessary precautions to minimize any potential impact on our operations, including:
- Collaboration with the Panama Canal Authority: We are closely collaborating with the PCA to secure the necessary transit slots. By scheduling transits between 30 and 14 days before arrival, depending on vessel size and direction, we aim to safeguard our transit schedule.
- Operational Considerations: We continue to adapt our internal processes to match the updated booking requirements of the Canal, securing access to the transit slots needed to ensure minimum impact on our customers. In addition, we review weather conditions and operational waiting times in previous ports to secure a transit date that aligns with our schedule and ensures a smooth transit through the Canal.
- Panama Rail Transit Option: We have continued access to limited rail connectivity, enabling an alternative container transportation option between the Atlantic and Pacific gateways.
These measures aim to reduce any potential impact on our ability to transit the Canal as planned and, most importantly, minimize any inconvenience that might impact our customers. We will monitor the situation closely and promptly inform you of any developments.
Thank you for your continued understanding and trust. If you have any questions or require further information, please get in touch with your local team. Our customer service and commercial teams are always available to support you.
04 September 2023 - Update 01
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. 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 and do not foresee any issues linked to the transit of ex-Oceania vessels on the OC1 service.
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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