PANAMA CITY – Ships moving through the Panama Canal are experiencing delays and the facility’s management has postponed scheduled maintenance work to speed up transit.
The canal authority, known by the initials ACP, also said it is implementing a temporary cut in the number of transit allocations for certain types of ships as part of the effort to “reduce delays.”
The last week of September and first week of October brought the arrival of a high number of vessels just as preventive maintenance work was scheduled to start in the Pedro Miguel locks, ACP said.
“To respond to this situation the scheduled maintenance work was postponed, and additional teams have been assigned to increase capacity in the locks,” said the ACP’s vice president of Operations, Esteban Saenz.
With almost 6 percent of global maritime commerce moving through the waterway, the canal authority said that around 35 ships transit daily, an average that varies based on factors such as the mix of big and small vessels.
Seasonal factors such as fog and rains in the canal region also have an impact on transit and scheduled maintenance.