An April 11, 2016, advisory from the Panama Canal Authority provided notice that, based on the present and projected level of Gatun Lake, effective May 9, 2016, the maximum authorized transit draft is set at 11.59m (38.0 feet) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW), as follows:
1. Vessels loaded to drafts over 11.59 meters (38.0 feet) prior to or on April 11, 2016, will have this draft restriction waived for transit, subject to safety considerations.
2. Vessels loaded after April 11, 2016, shall comply with this new draft limitation.
3. Vessels arriving with drafts over 11.59m (38.0 feet), TFW, may be allowed transit after May 9, 2016, depending on the level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit. Otherwise, they will be required to trim or off-load cargo in order to transit.
In addition, carriers have announced weight limits on USEC service via Panama:
(Weight = cargo weight + tare weight)
HJS: Control weight as 9 tons per TEU for AWH/AWT/AWC/AWY
OOCL: Control weight as 8.1 tons per TEU for NYE
EMC: Control weight as 7 tons per 20′ GP & 10 tons per 40’ GP & 40’ HQ for NUE
COSCO: Control weight as 9 tons per TEU for AAE1/AAE2/AAE3/AWE1/AWE3/GME and 7.5 tons per TEU for AWE2
As in the past, draft restrictions will be implemented in 15-centimeter (six-inch) decrements at a time, with each announced at least four weeks in advance. Vessels already loaded to the prevailing draft limitation at the time of announcing new draft restrictions will have this draft restriction waived for transit, subject to safety considerations.
Presently, there is no expiration date for the above draft restrictions. The Panama Canal Authority will eliminate the restrictions once the Gatun Lake level returns to normal. Please send an email to Deringer’s Marketing Department with any questions.