Mapping the Impact of the Panama Canal Drought

Alison Murdock
November 13, 2023

The Panama Canal, which links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is a critical conduit for international trade. But Canal operations have been significantly affected by drought conditions in recent years. Lower water levels have forced the Panama Canal Authority to impose draft restrictions on vessels, which limit cargo capacity. These restrictions have led to shipment delays, increased costs, and necessitated meticulous route planning. 

Adapting to the Challenge

The crisis has compelled global shippers to confront a familiar scenario – a vital waterway obstructed means a scramble for alternative solutions to bridge the gaps. In such scenarios, everyone invariably finds themselves asking: 

  • Where are my shipments?
  • What’s at risk? 
  • How can I minimize the impact of the disruption? 
  • What alternatives do I have if I need to replace inventory? 

In an earlier blog, we covered how some of our customers are responding.

But in this dynamic landscape of global logistics and supply chain management, knowing the exact location of every container, shipment, and potential bottleneck is non-negotiable – to plan, to forecast, to re-route, and mitigate the impact of disruptions, you need to monitor your containers daily. You need a global view of their status and location.  

The Power of Global Visibility

One of our latest platform features is the Global Map View dashboard. The dashboard lets users visually explore their active container shipments and identify shipment locations and bottlenecks. Users can:

  • Explore interactive map visualizations of vessels, ports, and warehouses.
  • Zoom in on any group and get extensive details about shipments, or pan for localized or global views.
  • See daily updated vessel locations for on-the-water containers. 
  • Filter by POL, POD, shipper, consignee, and container ID.

Seamlessly integrated with shipping and logistics data, the dashboard empowers businesses to monitor their container's progress as they navigate the world—even the Panama Canal. This real-time information facilitates agile decisions when adjustments are needed.

The Panama Canal drought is a stark reminder of the unpredictability inherent in global supply chain management. Unity SCM's Global Map View helps businesses not only overcome challenges but also build adaptability and resilience in the face of unpredictable (but inevitable) disruptions. In this way, we empower companies to maintain supply chain efficiency, reduce risks, and ensure the successful movement of goods, even when navigating complex conditions.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo of Global Map View now.