How Long Should you Wait for a Panama Canal Transit?



The wait time to pass through the Panama Canal was more than 10 days last month due to a large number of vessels coming from the U.S. Gulf Coast and larger tankers trying to pass through the canal.  In  addition, several  days of fog affected vessel movement and a lower lake level also increased the wait time. The Bunkering activities saw a rise due to such long delays. 

The wait time had been reduced to less than four days by various measures applied amid an unusual demand and extreme weather conditions.

  1. The non-critical maintenance at the canal locks was postponed.
  2. Bookings for priority passage have been reduced twice since mid-October.
  3. Additional crew have been assigned to increase capacity at the canal’s locks.

Tracking systems showed more than 130 vessels at the end of October between the canal’s two anchorages, which includes bulkers and tankers.  The authority confirmed it had received several complaints from users. A normal waiting period is 24-36 hours.

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Sandra Maler)