Inside Story

Is the Panama Canal in danger of drying up?

Low water levels caused by drought are forcing restrictions on number of ships allowed to transit.

Some 150 vessels are stuck waiting to pass through the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping routes

The growing backlog comes after months of drought in Central America. As a result of reduced rainfall, low water levels have limited the number of vessels allowed to go through.

Cargo deliveries have been delayed and supply chains hit worldwide.

Will the restrictions lead to higher prices in the shops? Is climate change also a factor? And is an alternative waterway needed?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Lars Ostergaard Nielsen – Head of North and Latin America operations for Maersk

James Baker – Containers editor at Lloyd’s List

Jean-Paul Rodrigue – Professor of global studies and geography, Hofstra University