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Panama Canal Transit End of March 2011

By Sue Richards last modified May 18, 2011 01:50 PM

Published: 2011-05-18 13:50:34
Countries: Panama

Posted 29 April 2011

Being this time of the year - one of the busiest regarding Container Ships - our transit was delayed and we had a waiting time up to 8 days after measurements for boats under 65 feet.

Reason: Lack of Pilot Assistants who do this job in their free time.

But, if you are prepared to pay an extra fee of 2,500 USD you can get a FAST TRACK and leave the following day after measurements!!!! In this case you are assisted by one of the oficial Pilots who are employees of the Canal Authorities.

Time is money!!

Arrival Shelter Bay Marina: March 8, 2011
Measurements: March 12, 2011
Transit: March 20/21, 2011

Gunter Deck

Comment Received 2 May 2011

I refer to the notice on noonsite with a report from a yacht indicating a waiting time of 8 days and I felt I should comment.

It is correct that for the last couple of weeks the waiting time for small crafts has been between 7 and 12 days, which is expected to remain unchanged until middle of May. The reason is partly due to lack of Advisors (the "Pilots" for the small crafts) coming from other divisions, like Tugboat division and Dredging Division (it is not a job they do in their free time!) due to the workload presently in subject divisions.

I believe I previously reported how the system works for the small crafts (yachts) transiting the Canal. However we are now at the end of the season and we are entering the rainy season months with very few yachts passing the Canal.


Comment Received 17 May 2011

I would like to give some inputs about the current delays to transit the Panama Canal. The US$ 2,500 can guarantee a day-after-transit as your yacht (if it is under 65 feet) will be using a PILOT. According to the ACP the delays are given due to two situations: shortage of advisors (who deal yachts under 65 only) and lots of yachts expecting to transit. ACP has appointed a third advisor per day but the delays remain being around 9-12 days. if you are using an agent for the passage we strongly recommend to request them to keep calling the ACP and get the place of any cancelation during the period of time waiting.

David Manrique
Match Shipping Management