Re: Neopanamax Locks Draft– Attached Advisory to Shipping ADV-09-2020 announcing reduction of the maximum permissible draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks to 13.56 meter (44.5 feet) Tropical Fresh Water effective April 17th, 2020.

Vessels arriving after April 17, 2020, with drafts over 13.56 m (44.5 feet) TFW may be allowed to transit, depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit. Otherwise, they will be required to trim or off-load cargo in order to transit.

Re: Covid-19 Update – Panama Canal and surrounding ports continue to operate normally but with heightened hygiene and security protocols. Please find attached Advisory to Shipping ADV-04-2020 from the Panama Canal Authority regarding virus reporting requirements. Panama Immigrations have temporarily stopped issuance of crew entry Visas, only permitting Panamanian nationals and residents to enter the country; as a consequence crew embarkation and disembarkation is temporarily suspended except for emergency situations. Such requests require approval by local Health Authority and subject to 14 day quarantine.

Re: Canal Waiting Times – The backlog of vessels waiting for transit is slowly improving compare to previous weeks. At present 80+ vessels are waiting at anchorage for transits. Panama Canal transit operations remaining in Booking Condition 1A with a reduced number of daily booking slots. Waiting times for nonbooked vessels (vessels without transit reservation) remain high, resulting in high demand for booking slots and increased waiting times for nonbooked vessels. Bookings are allocated during competition to vessels with highest customer ranking. Waiting times for vessels without transit reservation (booking) are currently 3-4 days both directions. Two additional slots are available daily via the auction process. Should you have any specific questions about the booking system, slots available, or the booking auction, please contact our specialized Transit Booking team at:


For further information please contact us at:

Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.
Bldg. 3825  – Office 204
Howard – Panama-Pacifico
Panama, Rep. of Panama
Tel: (507) 304-4600
Fax: (507) 269-3926
Main email:  (24 hours)
Management email: (office hours)


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Panama Canal informs Modifications to the Auction Rules

The Panama Canal Authority informs that effective January 20, 2024, vessels from all categories (Neopanamax, Supers and regulars) that obtain a slot for a particular date through the auction process, and subsequently obtain a slot for an earlier date –also through the auction process–, will not be assessed a fee for the change to the new date, provided that the vessel was rejected for that date in previous periods due to unavailability of slots.

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