Panama Canal shipping issues continue

An ag transportation expert says the drought situation along the Panama Canal could become the top challenge facing the U.S. grain export system in 2024.

Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says water levels remain very low. “You’re seeing more and more exports that leave from the Gulf of Mexico having to resort to the Cape of Good Hope around the southern tip of Africa, which is a longer journey and a much more expensive journey.”

He tells Brownfield he visited the canal in February and the shipping backlog was substantial. “Never saw one dry bulk vessel that would be transporting soybeans or other types of grain.”

Steenhoek says the Panama Canal Authority has been implementing water saving measures, but daily transits continue to face significant reductions.

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