After constant heavy rains, ships with a draft of 50 feet can now transit the Panama Canal for the first time in 20 months.
The Canal authority announced that, on Thursday, September 24, Neopanamax vessels can now transit with a draft of 50 feet, the maximum offered by the new locks, because of the constant rains in the hydrographic basin, resource planning measures, and efficient water use providing customers with a more profitable route for their business from the Canal says Canal administrator Ricaurte Vásquez.
“For the first time in 20 months, the interoceanic route has the capacity to allow ships to use the maximum draft of the Neopanamax locks “
The climate forecasts of the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA,) indicate a 75% probability for the La Niña phenomenon, with which an increase in precipitation is expected for the coming months.
A draft of 50 feet allows ships to transit with a greater amount of cargo, which translates into benefits for customers because it makes the transport of goods more efficient. Each additional foot of draft in the neopanamax locks means the possibility of loading an average of 330 extra containers, favorably impacting its economy of scale.