A historic drought has slowed shipping through Panamá Canal.

In recent times, the prevailing theme in global affairs has been the geopolitical conflict leading to confrontations between the armed forces of the U.S. and U.K. against the Houthis, an unauthorized armed group situated in Yemen. The resulting operations have had pronounced implications for maritime activities, with an increase in pirate attacks along the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal, thereby escalating tensions. Subsequently, various shipping lines have sought alternative routes around Africa, contributing to elevated costs and prolonged transit times for global orders.

While the ongoing geopolitical tensions dominate recent headlines, it is imperative to acknowledge a separate challenge faced by the Panama Canal over the past ten months, significantly impacting Latin American exporting nations. The canal’s transport capacity has witnessed a substantial decline from 36 to 24 vessels within this period, representing a decrease of approximately 34% in transportation capabilities. The primary cause behind this setback is the evaporation of water in the reservoirs due to prevailing intense heat. The occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon in the region has exacerbated the situation, bringing forth drought conditions and intermittent rainfall.

Consequently, the repercussions are evident in the form of steadily rising delivery times and ocean freight rates. There exists a concern that the geopolitical unrest in the Middle East may evolve into a precarious economic situation, affecting not only the transportation of diverse goods but also leading to over-supply challenges at major ports.

However, amidst these challenges, there is positive news on the horizon. The avenues for shipping our specialty coffee globally remain extensive, and we are adaptable to the unique requirements of each brand. Exploring mixed shipping alternatives, such as combining air and sea transport, is one strategy we are employing to ensure the safe and timely arrival of our specialty coffee. It is our commitment to maintaining transparency throughout the entire shipping process.


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