Due to severe drought conditions, Gatun Lake in Panama is seeing low water levels. The Panama Canal Authority has imposed draft limits, and ships are being forced to pass through the canal with less cargo.
The drought is due to El Nino, and an unprecedented dry year. Lake Gatun is currently 4.6 feel (1.4 meters) below normal levels. A smaller lake that also supplies the canal is 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) below usual.
According to news sources, “…the Canal Authority to notify customers in early April that the maximum freshwater draft of 44 feet (13.41 meters) for Neopanamax vessels would be a foot less beginning at the end of the month.”
For more information on restrictions, please reach out to our local office via e-mail at CrewDesk@iss-shipping.com or +507 279 4100.