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Panama canal will slash ship crossings again due to drought

A dock worker throws a rope to a small boat that is passing through the Miraflores locks with the container ship Maersk Bogor while transiting the Panama Canal on September 22, 2023 in Panama City, Panama.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

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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