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Video: New Record for Daily Transits of the Suez Canal

Suez Canal record transits
Suez Canal set a new record with 89 ships transiting in one day (SCA file photo)

Published Aug 14, 2022 2:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Suez Canal set a new record for the highest daily transits of the canal in its history this month. The record comes as the canal continues to report strong growth in traffic and revenues despite its recent increase in transit rates. 

Reports from the Suez Canal Authority indicated that the new record was 89 vessels passing through the canal in one day, more than double the average transit rate of just a few years ago. Seven years ago, the expansion of the canal was completed in what the authority refers to as the “new canal” with the expansion of the traffic lanes and division of a portion of the north and south lanes. They cite the expansion as not only increasing capacity but also improving the efficiency of the operation.

The record of 89 ships including vessels crossing in both directions was achieved on August 6. The ships totaled 5.2 million tons. The number of ships transiting the canal from the north reached 44 ships with a net tonnage of 3 million tons, while 45 ships crossed from the south in the new navigational channel with a total net tonnage of 2.2 million tons.

 

 

The largest vessels making the transit that day included the containership OOCL Scandinavia (220,000 tons), flying the flag of Hong Kong, that was at the head of the southern convoy. She was transiting from Singapore bound for the UK. The largest in the convoy from the north was the COSCO Shipping Pisces (202,000 tons) on her return trip to Singapore.

They are also highlighting that a diverse group of ships made the transit that day. A total of 23 containerships and 23 bulk ships were part of the record day. Other ships crossing included 24 general and multi-purpose cargo ships as well as 14 oil tankers and three gas carriers.

Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, explained that the daily transit rates through the Suez Canal witnessed a significant increase after the opening of the new Suez Canal project. He reports that the average daily rate of ships transiting the canal increased from 48 ships before the new canal project to 62 ships currently.

The expansion is ongoing with additional investments accelerated after the 2021 grounding of the Ever Given. Lieutenant-General Rabie stressed that the projects to develop the navigational channel of the Suez Canal are their top priorities. The most recent work is the project to develop the southern sector of the canal, which is proceeding at an accelerated pace.

After increasing transit rates for all classes of vessels this spring, the Suez Canal recorded its highest ever monthly revenue in July, in addition to the highest monthly transit and highest net tonnage. Revenues 
reached $704 million, up by a third over the year-ago period. The growth outpaces the rate increases which ranged between five and 20 percent based on vessel type.

During July they report a total of 125.1 million tons of cargo were shipped through the canal, up by nearly 20 percent versus 2021. The number of ships making the transit increased by 26 percent to just over 2,100 during the month.