Hundreds of ships are stuck queuing for the Panama Canal, while the Bosporus and the Dardanelles have been closed to shipping because of ongoing wildfires in Turkey. File Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy | License Photo
Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Global shipping is under strain from congestion at two of the world's busiest waterways.
Hundreds of ships are stuck queuing for the Panama Canal, while the Bosporus and the Dardanelles have been closed to shipping because of ongoing wildfires in Turkey.
Drought conditions have made it harder for ships to transit the Panama Canal, making on their way to final destinations.
The Panama Canal uses fresh water to fill locks to allow ships to transit and normally dumps the water into the ocean afterwards, but drought has led authorities to try and recycle lock water, and authorities have limited the number of ships transiting daily to 32 down from 36.
Additionally, the lack of sufficient rainwater has led to shipping companies paying extra fees to transit the canal, forcing some shipping companies reportedly to redirect their vessels to avoid longer delays.
Panama is reportedly on track to lose up to $200 million because of the delays.
Some ships are expected to take weeks to transit the canal and the delays pose the risk of increasing food and fuel prices in various parts of the world.
Meanwhile, hundreds of cargo transport ships were left waiting to cross the Bosporus and Dardanelles straights as Turkey closed the passages to make it easier for aircraft fighting local wildfires to operate.
Mustafa Can, the chairman of the Turkish shipping company Transbosphor, said about 300 ships were waiting to cross, according to Bloomberg News.