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Waiting Times at Panama Canal Get Worse

By James Greenwald last modified Apr 11, 2008 04:44 AM

Published: 2008-04-11 04:44:41
Countries: Aruba , Bonaire , Curacao , Panama

Noonsite has received the following report about the worsening situation at the Caribbean end of the Panama Canal:

We arrived in Colon on 5 April and on 9 April received our date for transit as 3 8 week wait. This is quite unacceptable!

Apparently there are still many boats to turn up in Panama and it looks now that they will be getting transit dates in July and august which will be pretty late for the Pacific.

This is the news published on noonsite last month:

Latest reports from Panama are that yachts preparing to transit the Canal are experiencing lengthy delays before they are able to transit. Yacht agents have reported that only 3 yachts are making the northbound (Pacific to Caribbean) transit, and 3 southbound (the reverse), a total of six a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The majority of yachts are queuing up to go through southbound and current delays are of 3 to 4 weeks. Fewer yachts are headed northbound so the delay is much less or minimal. Panama marinas are crowded with yachts waiting to go through.

Usual numbers at this busy time of year would be about 15 to 20 per day going through. The backlog for ships is even worse, even though they do get priority over yachts. A Panama Canal Pilot told a Noonsite source that there are no particular functional problems on the canal just an unexpected large number of ships wanting to use the canal. The result undoubtedly is that to accommodate the ships the yachts are being restricted.