Panama was about to impose weight restrictions on ships transiting its canal, until a last-minute storm lifted its perilously low water levels last week.
The Panama Canal is one of the world’s busiest trade routes: 40% of all US container traffic passes through the 82km canal each year.
But it’s also vulnerable to rainfall variations: its ‘lock’ system uses huge amounts of fresh water to lift ships 26m up and then lower them back down at the other end.
Intrigue’s take: Much of the cargo that’s already in transit was loaded before the recent storms arrived, on the assumption Panama would impose the weight restrictions as planned.
Also worth noting: