Severe Panama Canal traffic jam

A shipper recently spent close to $4 million to expedite passage through the congested Panama Canal, marking a record high. According to bidding documents from an auction held on Wednesday, Japan’s Eneos Group successfully secured the crossing by paying $3.975 million. This additional cost is in addition to the standard transit fees, which already amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for companies.

During a conference call on Wednesday, Oystein Kalleklev, the CEO of Flex LNG Ltd. and Avance Gas Holding Ltd., commented on the canal’s current state, noting that the rising costs, nearing $4.5 million, are excluding many ships from utilizing the canal.

Eneos’ shipping division, involved in transporting various commodities such as crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas, chemicals, and bulk cargo, did not provide any comments along with the Panama Canal Authority regarding this matter.

The backlog of ships waiting to navigate the canal has been steadily increasing due to a severe drought. In response, the canal’s managing authority has implemented increasingly stringent restrictions to manage the situation. Additionally, the Panama Canal Authority conducts auctions for those interested in securing a priority position in the queue.

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