Drought is hampering the functioning of the Panama Canal. Traffic drops from 32 to 27 daily crossings due to drought in the region, announced on January 13, lhe Panama Canal Company.
In addition, a surcharge of $ 10,000 will be imposed on boats over 125 feet effective February 15. It may be revised depending on the level of the waters of Lake Gatun, which is an essential part of crossing the isthmus and also contributes to the water supplies necessary for the operation of the locks.
"It is not an easy decision", said the administrator of the channel, Ricaurte Vasquez, at a press conference. But these short-term measures are necessary to deal with the consequences of climate change, he added.
Last year's rainfall in Panama was 20% below average, making 2019 the fifth driest year in the past 70 years.
Some 5% of world trade transits through the Panama Canal.