Panama Canal blocked. 200 ships are stuck in a traffic jam

Panama Canal blocked.  200 ships are stuck in a traffic jam

More than 200 ships stuck in a traffic jam in the Panama Canal. Due to the drought, the route cannot be sailed, so the units have to wait for the water level to rise. The administration of the canal imposed an additional fee on the largest and heaviest ships.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the ships are stuck due to the unprecedented drought currently prevailing in Panama. The canal uses rainwater to replenish its sources, but the lack of rain makes the crossing difficult. Currently, 200 vessels, mainly bulk carriers and gas carriers, are waiting to sail the route.

Additional fee

The Panama Canal Authority has imposed a higher fee on the heaviest and largest ships that have to pass, which means that companies are able to carry less goods. And this, in turn, can lead to higher prices on store shelves.

According to Alix Partners, the channel is usually served by 40 percent. of all US container traffic. Traffic jams are slowing down deliveries of consumer goods and are already raising concerns in the Christmas supply chain. Some shippers may experience supply chain bottlenecks and delivery delays due to conditions.

The authorities introduced further restrictions, including reducing the number of booking spaces for large vessels from 23 to 14 and reducing the number of vessels allowed to pass through the canal from 36 to 34 to 32.

Another sea cork

The blockade of the Panama Canal is another sea jam that the world’s merchant fleet has experienced in the last few years. In the summer of 2021, the huge container ship Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days, blocking one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

Less than a year later, in March 2022, Ever Given’s sister ship, the Ever Forward, was stranded in the Chesapeake Bay for more than a month.

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