The international and global importance of the Suez Canal
The Suez Canal enjoys a special international rank as a navigation artery and a major path for the global trade movement, due to its distinguished geographical location, and the navigational facilities and services it provides for ships and transit carriers that keep pace with the various changes and developments in the maritime transport system, as well as being the shortest and safest route linking East and West , which gives the canal a competitive advantage compared to other shipping lanes.
In addition, the Egyptian state is keen to develop the axis of the Suez Canal and the economic zone, and to establish development projects that attract foreign investments, within the framework of a comprehensive strategy to transform it into a global logistics center for supply and resupply, at a time when the global need is growing to facilitate the movement of trade and supply in light of successive crises to which the countries of the world are exposed.
Regarding the importance of the Suez Canal to the world, it ranks second among the top 10 logistics companies in the Middle East and North Africa in 2021. 12% of the global trade volume flows through it annually.
World trade movement
For world trade, the Suez Canal is the shortest navigational route between East and West, and the fastest way to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, in addition to the fact that the accident rate in it is almost non-existent compared to other canals.
The performance of the Suez Canal improved despite the Ukrainian crisis, and by reviewing the statistics of navigation in the Suez Canal during the first half of 2022 compared to the corresponding half of the previous year, we find that the revenue generated by the canal amounted to 3.6 billion dollars during the first half of 2022, compared to 3 billion dollars in the first half of 2021, with an increase of 20%.
Number of transiting ships
The number of transiting ships in the Suez Canal reached 11,101 ships in the first half of 2022, compared to 9763 ships in the first half of 2021, an increase of 13.7%, in addition to the total net tonnage of ships passing through the canal that hit 656.6 million tons in the first half of 2022, compared to 610.1 million tons in the first half of 2021, an increase of 7.6%.
Quantity of goods transiting the canal
The quantity of cargo from the north to the south of the Canal amounted to 282.4 million tons in the first half of 2022, compared to 301.8 million tons in the first half of 2021, a decrease of 6.4%, and the quantity of cargo from the south to the north of the Canal amounted to 271.1 million tons in the first half of In 2022, compared to 221.4 million tons in the first half of 2021, an increase of 22.4%.
The amount of petroleum and its products transiting the canal
The quantity of petroleum and its products transiting the canal reached 124 million tons in the first half of 2022, compared to 92.8 million tons in the first half of 2021, an increase of 33.6%.
Transit rates of different types of ships
The rates of transit of various types of ships during the first half of 2022 increased significantly compared to the same period of the previous year, as the number of cruise ships increased by 82.4%, tanker ships by 20.8%, bulk ships by 16.8%, and car carrier ships by 14.1%, while the number of container ships increased by 13.6%, and general cargo ships by and general cargo ships by 3.9%.
New records for the Suez Canal
The Suez Canal achieved a number of records during the month of July 2022, as 2103 ships crossed the channel, which is the highest monthly transit rate in its history, and the net tonnage amounted to 125.1 million tons, which is the highest monthly tonnage in the history of the canal as well. In addition, the channel's monthly revenue reached $704 million, the highest in its history.
July 29 of this year witnessed the highest daily revenue in the history of the canal, amounting to $31.8 million, while the canal recorded the highest monthly revenue for oil tankers in its history, with a value of $ 153 million, in addition to recording the highest monthly revenue for liquefied natural gas tankers in its history, with a value of $ 52 million. The Suez Canal also recorded the highest monthly revenue for bulk ships in its history, with a value of $121 million.
Passing cargo volume
The growth of the volume of goods passing through the Suez Canal continued despite the slowdown in the growth of the volume of global trade thanks to the incentive policies and expansion projects. The volume of trade passing through the Suez Canal increased amid bleak international expectations for the global trade movement following the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis during the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, where the rate of increase in the volume of net tonnage passing through the Suez Canal reached 9.6%.
Suez Canal revenue development
The Suez Canal achieved the highest annual revenue in its history, reaching $7 billion in 2021/22, compared to $5.8 in 2020/2021 and 2018/2019, $5.7 billion in 2019/2020, and $5.6 billion in 2017/2018. $5 billion in 2016/2017 and 2012/2013, $5.1 billion in 2015/2016 and 2010/2011, $5.4 billion in 2014/2015, $5.3 billion in 2013/2014, and $5.2 billion in 2011/ 2012.
The currencies accepted to pay the transit fees are the US dollar, the British pound, the Euro, the Japanese yen, the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona, the Danish krone, the Norwegian krone, the Swiss franc and the Chinese yuan.
The Suez Canal has a large capacity, reaching 61.2% of the total tonnage of the world fleet of oil tankers (full tonnage), and 92.3% of the total tonnage of the global fleet of bulk cargo ships (full load) . Also, 100% of the cargo of the global fleet of other ships can cross the Suez Canal, either with lighter or empty cargo.
The Suez Canal also has a capacity to accommodate 100% of the total tonnage of the global fleet of container ships, car carriers and general cargo ships.
Marketing incentives and policies
The continuation of the reduction granted to crude oil tankers (loaded or empty) coming from the ports of the American Gulf, Latin America and destined for Asia until the end of December 2022 .
The reduction is up to 35% for tankers from the ports of the American Gulf and the Caribbean to the ports of the western Indian subcontinent (from the port of Karachi to the port of Cochin in western India), and 75% for tankers from the ports of the American Gulf and the Caribbean to the ports located east of the port of Cochin, And 75% for tankers from Latin American ports starting from Colombia and its south and heading to or coming from Asian ports starting from Karachi port and east .
Granting liquefied petroleum gas tankers (loaded / empty) operating between the American Gulf and areas in India and its east beyond, 20% discount rates for tankers from the ports of West India and the Maldives to the port of Kochi), and 55% to 75% for tankers from the ports east of the port of Kochi ) in western India to the ports of Singapore and to its east.
The continuation of the reduction granted to container ships coming from the American East Coast and heading directly to the regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia, by 20% to 40% for ships from the ports of the American East Coast heading to the ports of Colombia and its east .
The continuation of the reduction granted to dry bulk cargo ships (loaded / empty) operating between the ports of the East of the Americas region on one hand and the ports of the Asian region on the other hand until December 31, 2022, at rates of 30% to 45% for ships from the north of the port of Savannah to the port of Kochi and to its east .
The rates of reduction are 15% for ships from Savannah port and its south to the western ports of the Indian subcontinent, starting from Karachi port until before Kochi port, and 65% to 75% for ships from Savannah port and its south to Kochi port and its east .
Projects for the development and duplication of the Suez Canal
The Suez Canal is prepared for expansion and deepening operations to cope with the development in the volumes and tonnages of ships, in addition to being equipped with a Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) to follow up the movement of ships and intervene in times of emergency. The importance of the projects of duplication, expansion and deepening, is represented in increasing the capacity potential, improving Navigation movement and reducing the transit time of ships, as well as increasing the navigational safety factor in the southern region, increasing the surface of the water sector, as well as reducing the navigational currents in the Canal.
As for the most important projects for the development and duplication of the Suez Canal :
The state seeks to increase 25% of the total non-duplex distance in the "southern sector" of the canal.
The expansion and deepening of the southern region of the Suez Canal reaches 30 km, from km 132 to km 162, canal numbering, 40 meters east and 72 feet depth instead of 66 feet, in addition to an increase in navigational safety at a rate of 28% provided by the development project, along with 6 ships as an additional increase in absorptive capacity in that area .
Regarding the executive position of the expansion and deepening project until mid-July 2022, 8 million cubic meters of saturated sand were removed from the water, and the completion rates for dredging work in the project reached 43.6%, and 5 dredgers are currently working in the project, namely Mohab Mamish, Hussein Tantawi, Al-Siddiq, and Tariq bin Ziyad, And Mashhoor .
As for the project of duplicating the canal in the Lesser Bitter Lakes, it is carried out at a length of 10 km from km 122 to km 132 numbering the canal, and the length of the new Suez Canal is 82 km instead of 72 km .
With regard to the executive position of the dual-canal project until mid-July 2022, 22 million cubic meters of saturated sand were removed from the water, and the completion rates for dredging work amounted to about 35.5%, and the project is currently working on 4 dredgers, namely Al Hamra, Al Mirfa, Al Sadr, and Cassiopeia .
The Economist stressed that despite the challenges facing the services sector, particularly tourism, the balance of services in Egypt is expected to remain in surplus, mainly supported by the expansion of the canal and the increase in its revenues .
The Oxford Business Group confirmed that the Suez Canal is one of the most used waterways in the world and represents 12% of international shipping traffic.
It is a major logistic gateway to connect Europe with Asia and the Middle East, as well as a major source of revenue recording the highest annual revenue in its history during 2021.
The group also mentioned that the expansion of the Suez Canal can be considered a tangible step towards consolidating Egypt's position as a logistic and commercial center, and enhancing the advantage of its location among the main shipping routes between East and West.
Fitch institution believes that the Suez Canal will stimulate investment growth in Egypt, noting that its high revenues will achieve a significant recovery in the trade balance of services, and that its revenues reached a record level in April 2022, expecting this trend to continue in the coming months with the increase in tanker transit through the canal.
The "World Bank" indicated that the sources of foreign income began to improve lately, with the start of important activities to recover, including the revenues of the Suez Canal, with the easing of restrictions imposed on trade .
Bloomberg" agency pointed out that despite the effects of the Corona pandemic and the temporary closure of the Suez Canal due to the crisis of the stranded ship, the canal was able to record the transit of more ships in 2021, numbering more than any other time, and added that the Suez Canal represents a very great importance for global trade, Without the Suez Canal, vehicles transiting from the Middle East to Europe would have to travel an additional 6,000 miles and add nearly $300,000 in surcharges just for fuel.
Al-Monitor site stated that the Suez Canal is the fastest sea lane linking Asia and Europe, and is considered one of the most used sea lanes and a major artery for global trade movement, adding that the Suez Canal managed to achieve the highest annual revenues in its history during 2021, as the website indicated That Egypt resorted to the Suez Canal to help it overcome the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis, as the canal is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt, which was also evident during the economic crisis of the Corona pandemic .
Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Kitak Lim, congratulated the Egyptian government, and in particular the Suez Canal Authority, for celebrating the one-year anniversary of the rescue of the Evergreen ship, stressing the pivotal role that the Suez Canal plays in supporting the global supply chain, which was evident during the crisis. He also praised the great role of the Suez Canal which serves the navigation and maritime trade in the world. He expressed his confidence in the ability of the Egyptian maritime transport system to support international, regional and African trade .