Traffic jam on the Panama Canal

The approximately 80 kilometer long canal is one of the most important waterways in the world. It connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean in Central America.

About 14,000 ships pass through the waterway every year, and about six percent of world trade passes through it. In recent months, less rain and higher temperatures have caused the water level in the Panama Canal's artificial Lake Gatún to drop, which has an impact on operations. On both sides of the Panama Canal, a total of 126 freighters have recently been jammed, which is almost 40 per cent more than in normal times. The waiting time is nine to eleven days, as the canal authority announced last Friday. General cargo ships even wait up to 18 days for passage, according to the statistics of the canal authority.

Most recently, the daily number of ship passages was reduced from 38 to 32 because of the drought. The maximum draught at which ships are allowed to pass through the canal had also been lowered. These measures affect global supply chains and increase costs in world trade.

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