Ships waiting to unload containers.
Due to the water-saving measures imposed by the Panama Canal, ships choose to transfer part of the cargo by land, which has boosted the logistics sector.
The 44-foot draft restrictions imposed last May by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), as a measure to save fresh water in the face of the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, have energized the country's dry canal. Only in the port of Balboa (Pacific) operated by Hutchinson Ports (Panama Ports Company), “around 50 additional berths of container ships have been handled with more than 20,000 thousand extra movements (20 thousand containers), during the time that "The Canal restrictions have lasted," Alejandro Kouruklis, director of Government Affairs and Legal Advisor of Panama Ports, told La Estrella. On the other hand, the impact of movement in the Atlantic, where the port of Cristóbal operated by the same company is located, has not been significant. The route that fueled the dry canal was from Asia to the Pacific which used container ships. 70% of the ships that transit the route require a 44-foot draft.
Kouruklis' projection is that the trend will continue, as the Canal will maintain the draft measurement until September 2024, as advanced by the administrator of the interoceanic waterway, Ricaurte 'Catín' Vásquez.