A Watershed Moment For The Canal

November 3, 2023

Impact of the Panama Canal struggles on the tanker market

The 51-mile-long Panama Canal is an important shipping artery connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific.  An estimated 5% of global seaborne trade passes through this waterway.

The Canal has been in the news lately because the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has had to lower draft restrictions as well as reduce the number of transits due to the lack of precipitation in the Canal watershed.

The Panama Canal is used by a wide range of vessels, from cruise ships and car carriers to reefers and general cargo ships, but the “power users” are the container vessels, dry bulk ships and gas carriers (both LPG and LNG vessels). Chemical tankers are also frequent users, but product and crude oil tankers only use the Canal on a limited basis.

How will a further cutback in transit affect the tanker market?

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