Starting Friday, the Panama Canal Authority is implementing additional vessel reductions in an effort to conserve water as a drought exacerbated by a severe El Nino weather system continues to plague water levels in the locks of the key global trade conduit.
According to Panama Canal authorities, the drought requires them to reduce the number of daily transits from 29 to 25 ships and in the proceeding weeks, they will reduce vessels transits even more until it declines to 18 ships a day in February. That represents between 40%-50% of full capacity. Under normal conditions, between 34-36 vessels traversed the canal daily. The drought and vessel reductions are having a major impact on the flow of trade, according to data from CNBC Supply Chain providers.