Suez Canal to slash transit rates for containerships
The reductions will take effect October 1, said Mohab Mamish, who is the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and president of the economic district of the Suez Canal.
Vessels carrying more containers will receive larger reductions.
In July, the SCA offered a discount of up to 45 percent to large oil tankers en route from the United States to the Gulf.
Egypt has been taking measures to slash transit fees through the Suez Canal in attempts to attract more shipping traffic through the waterway and present it as a safe and fast route to secure trade exchange between the East and the West, the Middle East Monitor said.
Slow global trade growth in 2016 drove down the Suez Canal’s revenues 3.2 percent from 2015 to $5 billion. However, revenues from the Suez Canal for the first seven months of 2017 increased by $2.7 billion from the corresponding 2016 period.
Mamish said that “reducing prices will not affect the quality of shipping services provided to vessels.”
While the Suez Canal is equipped to handle the largest containerships on the water, the Panama Canal can only handle ships with up to 14,000 TEUs.
Only vessels up to 5,000 TEUs could transit the Panama Canal up until June 2016, which is when the waterway’s third set of locks opened to handle larger ships.
Ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting’s Capacity Report shows the Suez Canal is utilized by 56 container services, which collectively deploy 569 vessels averaging 10,792 TEUs.
In comparison, the Panama Canal is used by 30 container services, which deploy a combined 277 vessels averaging 6,548 TEUs. ■