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Maersk skips Panama Canal for land bridge


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Maersk skips Panama Canal for land bridge


Posted 11/01/2024

The Maersk group, one of the world's largest maritime transport groups, has announced that due to the low water level in the Panama Canal, it will use a "land bridge" to transport goods by rail to the other side of the isthmus.

Due to the “current aquatic situation” in the Panama Canal, the shipping company has made “changes to its services to ensure that customers suffer the least possible impact,” as reported in a press release published Wednesday.

Based on current projected water levels in Gatun Lake, the Panama Canal Authority has been forced to reduce the number and draft of vessels that can navigate the waterway, Maersk said.

”Ships that until now used the Panama Canal will now bypass the Panama Canal and use a 'land bridge' that the railway uses to transport cargo along the 80 kilometers to the other side of Panama ”, saysthe note.

This implies that the route between Oceania and the Americas will now be divided into two “loops”, one Atlantic and one Pacific.

Vessels in the Pacific will dock in Balboa (Panama), where they will leave their cargo bound for the west coast of North America or Latin America and pick up containers bound for Australia and New Zealand. At the same time, Atlantic ships will carry out the reverse operation in Manzanillo (Panama).

Maersk assured its customers that it is doing “everything possible to keep delays to the minimum possible” and admitted that there are currently “some delays” on routes heading to the south of the American continent, while routes northbound stops in Philadelphia and Charleston are operating normally.


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