Delays of 10 days reported at Panama Canal

Ocean carriers are canceling services and telling some shippers they can expect weeklong delays due to considerable and unexplained congestion through the Panama Canal.

Various reports have cited adverse weather conditions and repairs to existing locks as explanations for the delays. The Panama Canal Authority, however, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the factors behind backlog, nor the measures that were being taken to remedy them.

Vessels awaiting transit are now facing up to 10-day delays, carriers have told shippers this week, far more than the average transit times of 24 to 30 hours.

The canal was experiencing significant vessel traffic as of Wednesday afternoon. Twelve container ships were transiting the canal and 22 others were awaiting transit — 17 on the Pacific side and five on the Atlantic, according to data from AIS Live, a sister product of within IHS.