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In the intricate web of global trade, the Panama Canal stands as a pivotal artery that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, facilitating the movement of goods between East and West. However, recent developments have created challenges in the canal’s ability to effectively serve the global supply chain.

One of the significant challenges faced by the canal is its limited capacity to accommodate larger vessels. Mega-container ships, while capable of carrying thousands of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), often exceed the canal's size limitations, causing delays, expensive rerouting, greater shipping costs and potential increases in the price of goods.

Disruptions, whether due to natural disasters, accidents, or maintenance work, can also lead to lengthy delays in shipments. For instance, the blockage caused by a sunken vessel, or a malfunctioning lock can cause delays across the supply chain, and create uncertainty among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Global industries relying on just-in-time inventory systems are particularly vulnerable to disruptions caused by delays in the Panama Canal. The perishable food, electronics and automotive industries are prime examples of sectors that thrive on swift and punctual movements within the supply chain. Even a minor disruption can lead to production halts and inventory shortages, affecting business operations worldwide.

In response to the challenges posed by the Panama Canal, many businesses are reevaluating their supply chain strategies and solutions. DeltaTrak’s FlashTrak Cloud Services and real-time data loggers provide a solution shippers and receivers rely on to make crucial supply chain decisions. Erich Hugo, Managing Director of Business Innovation at DeltaTrak, tells the story of using FlashTrak Cloud Services to solve a customer’s shipping container mystery.

DeltaTrak Chain of Custody is a single platform combining grower data with Electronic Data Interchange transactions to create end-to-end supply chain traceability. By simplifying the tracking of food products from harvest to distribution center, users can streamline recalls, while ensuring FSMA 204 compliance. For more information, contact DeltaTrak Sales at 1-800-962-6776, option 1, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Temesa Lewis is a Marketing Communications Writer with DeltaTrak, Inc. Her professional background includes roles in sales/account management, human resources and training.

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