On 10 November 2015 the Panama Canal was continuing to experience unseasonably high demand and is taking several steps to expedite traffic, decrease Canal Waters Time (CWT) and reduce the current backlog of vessels.

The Canal has postponed non-critical maintenance work at the locks, modified its booking system, canceled draft restrictions, and assigned additional crews to operate the tugs, locomotives and locks.

The greater demand is attributed, in part, to traffic diverted from the US West Coast and a higher-than-normal volume of ships that require additional security measures, such as tankers and gas carriers. The Canal has also seen a higher percentage of large and deep-draft vessels, which also affects CWT.

Weather has also slowed traffic. In October fog delayed 107 vessels. Drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon reduced water levels in Gatun Lake, increasing lockage process time.

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