• Slightly more than a hundred ships on both sides of the Canal
  • Under regular circumstances, up to 90 ships are waiting to transit the Canal
  • Approximately 32 vessels transit the Canal every day 

The prolonged dry season is a natural phenomenon that affects many regions, including the Panama Canal.  While we can’t control nature, we can adapt our operations to ensure a competitive flow of vessels.

Our Adaptative Approach  

In line with our commitment to providing a reliable and sustainable service, we have chosen to extend booking Condition 3.

The standard offering of reservations comprises 23 booking slots for the Panamax locks. Under Condition 2, in scenarios involving a substantial reduction in capacity (such as lane closures for maintenance), the allocation is reduced to 16 booking slots.

Meanwhile, under Condition 3, as currently being implemented, the booking slots are limited to 14 in total (comprising 10 slots for super-sized vessels and 4 slots for regular-sized vessels).

This allows us to manage congestion and ensures ships en route or in queue, which haven’t secured reservations, can still transit in competitive time frames. It should be noted that transits through the Neopanamax locks maintain their regular average of 10 transits per day, so these have not been impacted by the measure.

High Demand Reflects Competitiveness 

Despite the challenges and the measures we’ve had to take, the high demand for the Panama Canal’s services showcases the confidence the global shipping community places in us. It underscores our competitiveness and the vital role we play in global trade.

Current Transit Data  

To provide perspective, as of today, we have around 120 vessels waiting for transit.  This data is updated daily and can be checked here.

For this month, the average waiting time for unbooked transits is between 9 and 11 days. We are continuously monitoring these figures and implementing measures to improve the flow. More information regarding waiting times can be checked here.

Open Communication is Key  

The Panama Canal believes in transparency and permanent communication. We inform in advance of the measures that may influence our customers’ operations so that they can make business decisions, ensuring the sustainability and continuity of world trade.

The Customer decides  

The freedom to choose is vital. We understand that our customers have choices, and it’s our duty to ensure that our services remain the best option. If circumstances demand, and customers choose another route temporarily, we respect and understand their decision. Our primary focus remains on the reliability of our services.

Our Commitment   

Our commitment is unwavering. Even in the face of challenges, our dedication remains steadfast: to ensure that the Panama Canal remains a reliable and sustainable option for the global shipping community.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is an autonomous legal entity of the Republic of Panama in charge of the operation, administration, management, preservation, maintenance, and modernization of the Panama Canal, as well as its activities and related services, so that the Canal may operate in a safe, continuous, efficient manner. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.