Panama Canal: Change of rules and regulations

The Panama Canal Authority has informed that Booking Condition 3 in the Panamax locks remained in effect until Saturday, 2nd September 2023. From Sunday, 3rd September 2023 onwards, Booking Condition 1.a is applied.

It is important to note that the preference for container vessels during the 2nd and 3rd booking periods / competitions is still in effect.

The total number of vessels will remain at 32 vessels per day.

Customers must consider the following factors:

  • During condition 3, the Panama Canal included non-booked vessels to reduce the backlog, considering that the 3rd period bookings were eliminated. Now, with condition 1A, 3rd booking period slots will be offered again, so the Canal’s capacity to accommodate non-booked vessels will be reduced. This could potentially increase the backlog once more.
  • Canal traffic will be high during the Christmas season due to cargo movement, which might affect waiting times.

Inchcape Shipping Services continues to monitor the situation and provide updates through all available channels. If you have any questions, please email