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Panama Canal will progressively increase daily transits to 32

Photo: ACP Vessel transiting the Panama Canal
Following maintenance on the Gatun Locks in the first half of April the Panama Canal Authority plans to gradually increase transits to close to normal levels.

In a Shipping Advisory on 9 April, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said it has scheduled maintenance work at the Gatun Locks from 7 to 15 May, resulting a reduction in the number of transits from 20 to 17 transits per day at the Panamax locks during the eight calendar days of the work.

On completion of these works ACP has announced measures that will increase the number of daily transits from 24 to 32, as water levels have improved following the drought last year that caused the implementation of restrictions.

- From 16 May until 31 May, the number of daily transits will be increased from 17 to 24 Panamax at the Panamax locks while Neopanamax will be 7 (total: 31)

- From 1 June the number of daily transits is increased from 7 to 8 in the Neopanamax locks  (total to 32 transits)

- And starting 15 June, the maximum permitted draught for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be raised to 13.71 metres (45 feet). Currently, the maximum permitted draught in the Neopanamax locks is 13.41 metres (44 feet). This adjustment ensures safe navigation, while considering Gatun Lake level projections and other operational requirements.

These actions are taken after a series of analyses based on water availability, water saving measures adopted since last year such as the efficient use of water stored in Lake Madden (Alhajuela) and the slight return of rainfall so far in April.