Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Friday inaugurated the new interoceanic railroad through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which will cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice versa, and somehow compete with the 80-kilometer Panama Canal, which takes 8 to 10 hours to cross.
Punta Arenas in the extreme south of Chile and the South American continent is again illusioned with the re edition of pre 1914 times, before the United States finished the Panama Canal and created the state of Panama, significantly cutting the time of shipping wishing to cross from the Pacific to the Caribbean and vice versa, and ensuring safe and reliable links between the East and West coasts of the US.
Following on the driest October since at least 1950, the Panama Canal Authority has said it has been forced to cut the number of ships using the waterway. This will naturally have an impact on the cost of shipping goods across the world.
Higher shipping costs as the Panama Canal, one of the world’s main maritime trade routes, will further reduce daily ship crossings in the coming months due to a severe drought, the authorities managing the canal.
Vessels in queue for transit across the Panama Canal stood at 128 ships on September first, some 42% above the 90 average, but 21% below the figure a month ago. While container ships, which have fixed schedules, tend to have reserved slots, the voyage plans for the tramp trades continue to be hit hard by the ongoing congestion brought about by drought and subsequent draft and transit restrictions put in place by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
Global shipping has been urged to share transit plans at one of the world’s key maritime crossings following on Panama Canal Authority officials warning that water-conserving restrictions will be in place for at least the next 10 months, given this year's unprecedented drought which Panama is experiencing.
On both sides of the Panama Canal, fleets of ships find themselves immobilized, delayed by weeks as waterway authorities have slowed traffic to conserve water amid a severe drought. A report from the Brazilian news agency O-Globo gives a detailed picture of what is happening.
Since the Panama Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific in the early 20th century, it changes forever the history of global shipping. Before the canal was completed, ships had to go around the southern tip of South America, close to the Falklands coal fueling deposits, and a much longer and more dangerous route.
Insufficient rainfall has once again forced the Panama Canal to reduce the draft of ships crossing through the inter-oceanic route – another episode of the water supply crisis that threatens the future of the maritime course that handles 6% of global maritime trade
Global transportation bottlenecks that have surged since the pandemic have shaken industries, consumers, deliveries, and prices. Clear evidence of this can be seen in the current Panama Canal queues of vessels.