(last update: September 14, 2023)
The lower-than-usual water levels in the Gatun Lake are causing severe draft restrictions on vessels transiting the Panama Canal. This has caused a backlog of traffic waiting to pass through. We are monitoring the journeys of our vessels and will keep you updated with your cargo planning.
Q1: What is the status of the Panama Canal and how is it affecting Hapag-Lloyd's operations?
A: Hapag-Lloyd has not experienced significant disruptions at the Panama Canal. The Canal's administration has assured priority booking to shipping lines based on their voyage count in the first half of 2023. Hapag-Lloyd is in the top 10, which ensures prompt booking requests. Delays, if any, range from approximately 1 to 4 days. Our Marine Operations team is committed to securing the best schedules. Different locks are used for different vessel types, and we're observing fewer delays for smaller vessels using the Panamax locks within our EC1, EC2, EC6 and AA7 services.
Q2: What is the long-term outlook for the Panama Canal situation?
A: The situation may persist until the next rainy season in Panama. Unfortunately, there is no definitive timeline for improvement.
Q3: What is the situation with the MSW Service?
A: Approximately half of the vessels in the MSW fleet require transit through the new locks, with might influence schedules. Therefore, there are adjustments being made which are communicated through our regional operational updates. You can find the overview and access to all regions here.
In addition to the Panama Canal issues, we must make adjustments caused by delayed departures at the canal and weather conditions.
Please note that these responses are based on the current situation and may be subject to change. We will keep you updated with any developments.
If you would like to view our vessels’ schedule information, please visit our vessel tracker in our Online Business Suite. If you have questions concerning the above changes, please contact our customer service team at your location, who will be happy to guide you based on your individual situation.