A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) has announced changes to its services due to the ongoing water situation in the Panama Canal.
Maersk reported that the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has had to reduce the number and weight of vessels that may sail through the canal as a result of the current and projected water levels in Gatun Lake.
While Maersk noted that it would continue to work closely with the ACP to alter and align its systems to match the changes, it has implemented service enhancements to minimise the impact on Maersk clients.
The shipping giant is amending its OC1 service, which operates between Oceania and the Americas.
The vessels that previously used the Panama Canal will now use a ‘land bridge’ that utilises rail to move freight over Panama’s 80-kilometre length to the other side.
This creates two separate loops, one Atlantic and one Pacific. Pacific vessels will turn at Balboa, Panama, dropping off cargo heading for Latin America and North America and picking up cargo heading for Australia and New Zealand.
Atlantic vessels will turn at Manzanillo, Panama, dropping off cargo heading for Australia and New Zealand and picking up cargo heading for Latin and North America.
Maersk further disclosed the routes on vessels travelling northbound, southbound and also discussed the vessels omitted on its OC1 route.