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            may 25, 2019

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14-metre draught restriction from March 29 at Panama Canal


The Panama Canal Authority is limiting the maximum draught for its new set of locks to 14 metres, starting from March 29. This amounts to the fourth reduction this year based on projected levels of the Gatun Lake in the coming weeks.
Ships arriving after the effective date with draughts exceeding the maximum depth may still be allowed to transit, but that will depend on the actual level of the Gatun Lake at the time, otherwise the vessels will be required to trim or offload cargo.
Draught adjustments will be announced in 12-inch decrements with at least four weeks of advance notice, American Shipper reported.
The authority announced the first reduction in January, which became effective in mid-February due to rainfall registered in the Panama Canal watershed in December being 90 per cent below the historical average, causing the water levels of the Gatun and Madden lakes to slip below the expected level.

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