Due to a severe drought affecting the Panama Canal, container vessels are to lighten their loads and pay higher fees. Further increases in the cost of shipping cargo through the canal are expected this summer. The largest vessels will have to reduce their draughts by carrying less or cutting the weight of their cargoes as of May 24, followed by another decrease that kicks in on May 29.
Some major ocean carriers have also announced new fees for goods shipped on the route as of June 1 in response to the canal restrictions. These measures are likely to result in delays and higher costs for goods that are shipped through the canal, which typically sees 5% of annual global maritime trade pass through its locks.