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Panama canal says will slash booking slots due to drought

2023-10-31T15:41:21Z

Monrovia NSU CHALLENGER bulk carrier transits the expanded canal through Cocoli Locks at the Panama Canal, on the outskirts of Panama City, Panama April 19, 2023. REUTERS/Aris Martinez/File Photo

Daily ship crossings on the Panama Canal, one of the world’s main maritime trade routes, will be further reduced over the coming months due to a severe drought, the authorities managing the canal said late on Monday.

Booking slots will be cut to 25 per day between November 3 to November 6, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a shipping advisory, and will be gradually reduced further over the coming months to 18 per day beginning February 1, 2024.

In recent months, the ACP has imposed various passage restrictions to conserve water, including cutting vessel draft and daily passage authorizations.

The latest announcement comes after ship crossings were most recently reduced on Sep. 30 to 31 from 32, effective Nov 1.

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