The restriction has caused a ripple effect on the canal’s bunkering logistics, global bunker supplier Monjasa says.
The Panama Canal, which sees an average of 36 vessels per day transiting, is now only seeing around 32 vessels crossing, with container ships being prioritised for transit. As a result, vessels are waiting for longer periods on both sides of the canal.
Monjasa is currently collaborating with local maritime authorities and shipowners to reduce their waiting time for bunker operations by moving deliveries to the outer anchorage. Due to delays of 10 to 15 days, or even longer, an increasing number of ships are making enquiries about fuel availability at the Atlantic outer anchorage.
The increased waiting time has a direct impact on vessels expecting to take bunkers in the Cristobal inner anchorage or when a vessel on the Atlantic side needs bunkers, Monjasa Americas’ trading director Kristian Smith Hansen said.
‘’Therefore, we now see an increase in Atlantic outer anchorage fuel enquiries reflecting the time pressure and increased shipping costs that shipowners are currently facing,” he added.
This move by shipowners to relocate their bunkering operations offshore is seen as a way to mitigate these challenges and reduce waiting times for vessels looking for bunkers at the Panama Canal.
Source : Hellenic Shipping News