After loosening its draft restrictions ahead of schedule, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is adding more slots for vessels to pass through next month.

According to the ACP, the changes are based on “the positive effect of the rainy season” in the canal’s watershed and the present and projected level of the Gatun Lake.

Based on these factors, the Canal announces an additional booking slot in the neopanamax locks beginning on August 5.

This additional slot will be offered at the opening of the second period competition beginning on July 22, increasing the total number of booking slots in both the neopanamax and panamax Locks to 35 slots.

Furthermore, in the neopanamax locks for booking dates beginning on August 5, the maximum number of slots that may be allocated during all booking periods (excluding the conditioned slot and slots sold during period 3) will be four in either direction.

Meanwhile, the recent precipitation in the Panama Canal watershed has enabled the ACP to further increase the maximum allowable draft in the neopanamax locks.

Therefore, effective immediately, the maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting the neopanamax locks will be 14.33 m (47.0 feet) and, effective on July 11, the maximum authorized draft will be 14.63 m (48.0 feet).