Relo NewsBits

Photo: Ship crossing Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks - Panama City, Panama (

Panama Canal no reservation wait times surge in November


As reported in last Update, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has currently maintained the same plan over the next several months with reduced reservation slots dropping down to a low of 18 daily by February 1. However, FreightWaves is now reporting that with the continued traffic to the canal (avoiding diverted routes) the average wait time for ships without a reservation has risen dramatically from 2.1 days on November 1 to 11.4 as of Wednesday this week for southbound transits. (More at: FreightWaves, “No Reservation at Panama Canal? Prepare for a long wait” Greg Miller, 11/29/2023)

Photo: Container Ship Mumbai Maersk (Wikimedia Commons, USA public domain)

Mumbai Maersk sets new Felixstowe record


Recently arriving on 11 November at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe (largest UK container port), the container mega-vessel Mumbai Maersk set a new a record for the deepest draft at that port. Originating from Bremerhaven, Germany, the draft measured at 16.8 metres on arrival and 17 metres at departure. Only weeks before the port completed a major project that increased the depth of the approach channel and two berths. (More at Container News, “Mumbai Maersk sets new draft record at Port of Felixstowe,” 11/16/2023)

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Photo: Soo Locks, St. Mary’s River, connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway

  • 16 locks to lift/lower ships 600 ft. (60 Stories)
  • Supports 237,000 jobs
  • Third largest collective economy in the world
  • $6 Trillion combined regional GDP
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U.S. Navy Destroyer USS Mason (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, USA public domain)

Three Israel-linked ships attacked, one vessel diverts


This past weekend, the Central Park tanker, after ignoring an initial threat (by Yemen’s Houthi rebels) was attacked by five Somali pirates but was rescued by the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason. After this and two other recent attacks on ships in the region, the container vessel Zim Europe reversed course on Saturday in the Mediterranean to avoid its original route through the Suez Canal and set a 56% longer course around the Cape of Good Hope to Port Klang, Malaysia. (See more at FreightWaves, “Zim Container ships divert as threat to Israel-linked vessels mounts” by Greg Miller, 11/27/2023)

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Photo: Herma P locking east bound Panama Canal 2016 (Paul Harrison, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Panama Canal has driest October in 73 years


With the regional rainy season expected to end by about mid-December, the Panama Canal experienced an extremely low amount of rain, 41% less than normal for the month of October. This resulted in a historic low water level in Gatun Lake. In order to maintain a competitive depth for ship drafts, the Canal announced new operational measures including a substantial decrease in reservation slots. Recently, the daily transits reservation slots were lowered to 32, but now will be on a reduction schedule to further lower the slots over the next few months reaching down to 18 on February 1. (More at Panama Canal website,, press room-News, “The driest month of October since 1950” 10-31-2023)

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Photo: View of Ashdod seaport situated on Mediterranean sea in Israel (

Port Ashdod, Israel remains open amid rocket warnings


Reuters reports today the Israeli Port of Ashdod remains open amid intermittent halt of operations “when wailing sirens warn of incoming rockets from Gaza.” Some ships have decided to divert to the port of Haifa in northern Israel resulting in a current 30% drop in port volume. (See more at Reuters, “Israel’s Ashdod port toils under shadow of rockets” by Jonathan Saul, 10/25/2023)

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Relocating? Experts Explain Trend on Housing Prices


Despite the continued increase in mortgage rates, the median home prices in the U.S. have also climbed almost 3% since a year ago September. While a correction was anticipated as the housing market began to slow down late last year, home values have remained fairly steady with no concerns of a market crash and even expectations of continued rising prices in 2024. Experts explain five reasons for this housing market environment. (See more at yahoo!finance, “Is the housing market going to crash? What experts are saying” Jeff Ostrowski, 10/21/2023)

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