Maersk eyes rail trans-shipment as solution to Panama Canal restrictions

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Maersk eyes rail trans-shipment as solution to Panama Canal restrictions

Due to drought conditions affecting the Panama Canal, Maersk has altered its shipping routes for freight from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). Ships will no longer pass through the canal but will instead use a “land bridge” in Panama, involving the Ports of Balboa and Manzanillo. Containers will be transferred by rail across 80 kilometres in Panama and then loaded onto other vessels. Maersk’s decision reflects a broader trend of declining cargo volume through the Panama Canal, which saw a decrease in 2023 compared to 2022. However, the Canal Authority reported record revenues due to surcharges and other fees. The Panama Canal Authority views its multimodal transportation system as a response to climate variability and water shortages, pledging continued support for operations like Maersk’s.

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