Panama Canal Pile Up Getting Worse

The Panama Canal is the fastest and most efficient way to move between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, but, since July 2023, there has been an unusually large pileup of vessels waiting to cross. The congestion is a result of recent water conservation measures carried out by the Panama Canal Authority (PCA).

Each crossing requires some 51 gallons of water. A drought in the area, however, has drastically lowered the water level at the canal, leaving the PCA with no other option but to reduce waterway traffic. This has led to a logjam of 150 vessels waiting to cross the Canal, with an estimated wait time of around 21 days. 

If the situation doesn’t improve, vessels might have to consider using other routes, which could lead to an increase in the cost of transportation.

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