A bigger, better Suez Canal: But is it necessary?

TOP NEWS / September 1, 2015

The story of New Suez Canal

The New Suez Canal is one of the world’s most important waterways project in Egypt, expanding the existing Suez Canal between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. It is aimed to transform the area into an international logistics, commercial and industrial hub that Egyptian authorities projected would reap benefits for the national economy.

The project comprises a new 35-kilometre-long (22 mi) section parallel to the existing 164-kilometre-long (102 mi) canal, and the deepening and expansion of a 37-kilometre-long (23 mi) section of the existing canal.

The enlarged Suez canal allows ships to sail in both directions at the same time over much of the canal’s length. This is expected to decrease waiting time from 11 to 3 hours for most ships, and to increase the capacity of the Suez Canal from 49 to 97 ships a day.

The construction of the new canal, which cost $8.3bn, took one year only, in particular the work began on 5 August 2014 and completed on 23 July 2015. The channel was officially inaugurated with a ceremony attended by foreign leaders and featuring military flyovers on 6 August 2015.

The expectations by the New Suez Canal

The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Vice-Admiral Mohab Mamish, announced that the revenues from the Suez Canal would jump from 5 billion dollars to 12.5 billion dollars annually.

The new 72-km section of the Canal is expected to bring three times more revenue to Egypt and to nearly double the number of vessels going through the canal to around 100 by 2023. Egypt expects that up to 20,000 ships will transit the route on a yearly basis. The new stretch of the Canal is also projected to cut transit times from 20 to about 11 hours.

The Egyptian authorities expect a positive development for the country, as the impact on trade will encourage port infrastructure development and seek to revitalize the ailing local economy and spur job creation. In addition, over the next five years Egypt plans to invest into construction of an industrial and logistical zone along the canal in order to attract further investment into the area.

However, the Suez Canal expansion is a great achievement not only for the people of Egypt, but for the development of East-West trade.

Specifically, international ports and shipping businesses have reacted positively to New Suez Canal, as reduced waiting time in the canal will allow liners to deliver goods faster than before, which translates to savings of thousands of dollars per call.

Although all talk about a magnificent project it is worth to highlight the intense concern for the global recession in container shipping means that it will take years to reap the benefits from the project due to current global trade volume levels.

In particular, according to the Economists AS A feat of brawn it is impressive. In just one year, a third of the time engineers wanted, Egypt….Read More


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