Panama Canal cuts ship numbers due to El Nino drought

Panama Canal cuts ship numbers due to El Nino drought

Panama Canal cuts ship numbers due to El Nino drought

Panama Canal cuts ship numbers and weight of ships further due to deeper drought forces as it is facing the worst El Nino drought.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) cut down the ship numbers that go through the canal every day due to dangerously low water levels during an ongoing El Nino drought.

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According to ACP, they made this decision forcibly due to the driest October 2023 since records began in 1950. ACP says that the El Nino weather phenomenon has contributed to the severe drought. It expects to raise the cost of shipping goods around the world.

The Panama Canal greatly reduces the time and distance traveled by ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. According to the canal authorities, between 13,000 and 14,000 ships utilize it annually while it is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

According to shipping advice from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will decrease booking slots for ships to 25 per day between November 3 and November 6. This number will eventually reduced to 18 per day starting on February 1, 2024.

The drought in Panama is partly caused by a naturally occurring El Nino climate trend linked to warmer-than-normal water in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

According to the ACP, the water levels in Gatun Lake serve as the primary source of water for the canal’s lock system. It has continued to decline to unprecedented levels for this time of year. Gatun Lake is a rainfall-fed reservoir.

The ACP has imposed various passage restrictions in recent months in order to save scarce water. For the first time ever, authorities reduced the number of ships passing through the canal earlier this year.

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