Shippers Advised to Route Cargo Bound For
U.S. East and Gulf Coast Ports Through the Suez Canal
Dear Valued Customer,
The drought in the Panama Canal region has gotten progressively worse, forcing the Panama Canal Authority to implement a number of restrictions on the amount of cargo that is allowed to traverse through the canal.
These restrictions have caused a three-week backlog of vessels. To date there are more than 154 vessels backed up and waiting for the chance to travel through the canal. Industry officials are predicting that the situation will get much worse.
We are advising all clients who typically route their cargo to the U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports through the Panama Canal, to instead route their cargo through the Suez Canal. Also, clients shipping heavy 20-foot containers should avoid shipping through the Panama Canal.
Additionally, we are also suggesting that all clients to reach out to their advisors to discuss long-term alternative strategies because, as the EPA states here, this new weather pattern will in all likelihood become permanent.
Finally, carriers have stated that they are considering charging a low water fee to pass through the canal. As of now they have not implemented the fee and we will update you should they begin charging the fee.
We will continue to monitor this situation and will inform you of any updates as they become available.