Panama Canal News

Panama Canal News

Panama Canal map

Read news and analysis on the Panama Canal, including discussions of development and reports on tolls and traffic, including ocean carrier strategies involving use of the Panama Canal for all-water service from Asia to the US East Coast.


Canals used to be a sleepy topic. Suddenly, times have changed.

News & Analysis

19 Jul 2022
A new plan rolling out in 2023 will streamline the Panama Canal’s tolling system and implement fees for empty boxes heading back to Asia, a move the Canal says “recognizes the repositioning value of empty containers.”
04 Apr 2022
The Panama Canal Authority is proposing a new tolling plan that would assess the first fees on empty containers returning from North America to Asia.
07 May 2020
The Panama Canal sees COVID-19 accelerating the long-building trends of global container trade becoming more regional.
20 Feb 2020
Following imposing draft restrictions in four of the last six years, Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez says a new approach is needed since the value of the larger locks, completed for some $5.25 billion in 2016, is for naught if full water draft can’t be guaranteed.
13 Jan 2020
The Panama Canal Authority is making operational changes so it can mitigate the effects of low water levels that have previously prevented fully-loaded, larger container ships from traversing the waterway.
26 Jul 2019
The Panama Canal on Friday increased from 44 feet to 45 feet the permitted depth of vessels passing through the critical waterway as canal authorities have begun to walk back depth limits introduced over the last seven months due to a lack of rainfall.
12 Jul 2019
The shallow drafts pushed up spot rates on cargo from Asia, although it’s unclear how much was due to reduced loading capacity and how much was used by carrier representatives as simply justification to seek higher rates.
21 May 2019
Container carriers have been altering stowage plans for neo-Panamax ships to mitigate the current draft limits, according to the Panama Canal Authority.
07 May 2019
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced the sixth reduction in its maximum draft this year for the Neopanamax locks on Gatun Lake as water levels continue to fall.
12 Apr 2019
With draft restrictions already imposed in the waterway’s larger locks due to lack of rain, the Panama Canal Authority is working on plans for a third water reservoir that would help replenish the locks system during dry weather.
09 Nov 2017
A long-shot proposal has been floated to build a railroad that supporters say could make it quicker and cheaper to move cargo by land between Mexico’s Pacific and Gulf coasts than the Panama Canal.
10 Oct 2017
Japan’s exporters appear to be steadily reducing their reliance on the Suez Canal to reach markets in North and South America.
23 Aug 2017
The Panama Canal has the same number of weekly loops as it did before its expansion.
08 Aug 2017
The toll changes will be the first since the canal opened new locks in June 2016.
27 Jul 2017
The opening of the new locks in June 2016 shifted the competitive advantage back to the Panama Canal.
13 Jun 2017
Average container ship sizes through the Panama Canal have increased by roughly 47.5 percent to 6,000 TEU since the June 26 opening of the Panama Canal’s larger lock.
02 Jun 2017
The Panama Canal Authority plans to implement a reduced toll schedule for Atlantic-to-Pacific backhauls.
08 May 2017
The value of recently shunned Panamax container ships is growing faster than other vessel sizes.
20 Mar 2017
The system will help increase the number of New Panamax ships that can pass through the Panama Canal from an average of five a day at present.
22 Nov 2016
The Panama Canal has overtaken the Suez Canal as the favored transit route for carriers operating services between Asia and the US East Coast following the widening of the Central American waterway.
16 Nov 2016
Scrap another 100 Panamax ships in the next couple of months if there is to be any rebalancing of supply and demand, Alphaliner warns.
14 Nov 2016
More larger ships expected as carrier alliances revise schedules.
20 Oct 2016
The Panama Canal Authority said increased rainfall has permitted an increase in maximum allowable drafts at the canal’s new locks.
17 Oct 2016
The value of second-hand Panamax container ships has plunged by as much as 45 percent.
13 Oct 2016
Container ship transits through the Panama Canal are running well below capacity following its $5.25 billion widening.
The larger locks of the Panama Canal, pictured, have made it possible to reroute large amounts of cargo destined for the interior United States away from West Coast ports.
19 Sep 2016
Irrational exuberance could result in inflated expectations and overbuilding of transportation infrastructure to the US interior if the cargo volumes don’t materialize.
16 Sep 2016
“Cost, consistency and capacity will determine the gateways through which Asian imports enter the US."
The NYK Iris Leader transits the larger locks of the Panama Canal. Ships move through the new locks with the help of tugs. The old locks rely on locomotives to pull ships through them.
03 Sep 2016
The Panama Canal’s expanded locks have opened a new path for roll-on, roll-off carriers.
08 Aug 2016
Canal officials said they're "very pleased" with operations so far.
25 Jul 2016
Port touts its proximity to distribution centers along Florida's I-4 corridor.
Maersk Line will deploy the same size ships on the new Panama routing as it did via the old routing through the Suez Canal.
21 Jul 2016
Maersk Line said it would reroute one of its Suez Canal strings just days before the Panama Canal opened June 26.
13 Jul 2016
The Panama Canal has ousted the Suez Canal as the leading route for all-water container services between the Far East and the U.S. East Coast.
Sights such as this one, a Panamax ship transiting the old Panama Canal locks, are set to become increasingly rare as container lines upsize tonnage to take advantage of better economies of scale made possible by the canal's addition of newer larger locks.
12 Jul 2016
The recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal is shaking up the deployment pattern of container ships.
HMM's new ships will replace vessels with 4,600 TEUs as container lines continue to upsize the ships they send through the Panama Canal.
11 Jul 2016
Hyundai Merchant Marine plans to deploy six ships with capacities of 10,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units on an existing Asia-U.S. East Coast service via the enlarged Panama Canal.
27 Jun 2016
Cosco Shipping Panama on Sunday made the first commercial transit of the Panama Canal’s new locks.