Before the Ever Max ship carrying lava lamps, sofas, Halloween costumes and artificial Christmas trees could make its inaugural Panama Canal voyage this month, a historic drought forced it to drop weight by offloading hundreds of containers.

Weather-related disruptions denied the vessel, owned by Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, a chance on Aug. 1 to set a record for carrying the most containers through the vital maritime shortcut that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The Panama Canal Authority has reduced maximum ship weights and daily ship crossings in a bid to conserve water. Maritime transportation experts fear such events could become the new normal as rainfall deficits in the world's fifth-wettest country spotlight climate risks affecting the ocean shipping industry that moves 80% of global trade.