Panama Canal Draft Restrictions


Dear Valued Customer –


You have most likely recently been informed via the press or other channels, that the authority overseeing the Panama Canal announced that lack of rainfall due to the current El Nino situation, water levels in the lake sections of the canal were running below normal, and that they had implemented draft restrictions, as well as a schedule for further restrictions to be implemented during mid-September, 2015.


The Panama Canal Authority has advised that the maximum draft commencing September 8th, 2015 will be 11.89m (39 feet) with a further reduction in draft on September 15th, 2015 if the situation didn’t improve. Since the announcement was released last week, Panama has benefited from increased rainfall, and over the past weekend, they have announced that any further restrictions beyond the current 39 foot level are postponed with a minimum of four weeks advance notice prior to being implemented.



PCA have also announced that vessels up to 39.3 ft. draft may be accommodated depending upon the draft of Lake Gutan at time of transit. At this point in time, we do not anticipate any major impact on CMA CGM service utilizing the Panama Canal. Most of our services that have been transiting the canal have been at or below the maximum drafts as prescribed by the Panama Canal Authority.


As this is a fluid situation, it may change in the very near future. We will continue to keep you apprised of the situation as it progresses.
Thank you for your continued support. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this change, please contact our import customer service team or your local CMA CGM sales representative. For current schedule activity please visit our Web site at www.cma-cgm.com.
Best regards,
CMA CGM (America) LLC