As ships continue to back up in the Panama Canal due to drought-induced water restrictions, desperate shippers are paying top dollar to skip the queue (*).
This is as the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has warned that they will continue to impose water-restricting measures for at least 10 months due to the onset of the El Niño weather phenomenon this year.
Bloomberg reports that shippers are paying record amounts to ensure that their carriers are able to beat the logjam.
According to the publication, shipping company Avance Gas Holding said in its earnings this week that it had paid $2.4 million — in addition to a standard transit fee of around $400 000 — to enable its carrier to traverse the waterway faster.
The Bermuda-based company is engaged in the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas.
For those wishing to queue-jump, the PCA holds auctions – but as with any hot commodity, the price is at a record high.