Maersk to use Land Bridge to Bypass Panama Canal Amid Drought

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By LatAm Reports Editor

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

Due to the “current water situation” in the Panama Canal, the shipping company has made “changes in its services to ensure that customers suffer as little impact as possible,” according to a press release published last night.

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

“The ships that used the Panama Canal so far from now on will omit the Panama Canal and use a ‘ground bridge’ that uses the railway to transport cargoes along the 80 kilometers to the other side of Panama,” the note reported.

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

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The boats in the Pacific will dock in Balboa (Panama), where they will leave their cargo to the west coast of North or Latin America and collect containers to Australia and New Zealand.

At the same time, Atlantic ships will carry out the reverse operation in Manzanillo (Panama).

Maersk assured his clients that he is doing “as much as possible to prevent delays from being limited to the minimum possible” and admitted that there are currently “some delays” on the routes heading south of the American continent, while the routes to the north that stop in Philadelphia and Charleston are currently functioning normally.

Recently, Aristides Royo, Minister of Canal Affairs, indicated that the project to create a reservoir in Río Indio, as one of the possible solutions for the water crisis affecting the Panama Canal, would only be possible if the inhabitants of this place approve it.

On time, Royo said that the Panama Canal will not try to make a reservoir in Rio Indio, if the inhabitants of this sector oppose it.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Panamerica