Ships sailing through Suez Canal - Press Photo
CAIRO – 20 August 2017: A number of 63 ships sailed through the Suez Canal, carrying a total volume of 3.8 million tons on Sunday, breaking a record, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamesh announced.
Suez Canal traffic has been steadily increasing since the beginning of 2017, reflecting a rebound in international trade flow, Mamesh said in a statement, attributing the traffic hike to the new Suez Canal that boosted the canal’s capacity.
The canal’s revenues in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017 recorded $2.105 billion, $62.2 million increase compared to the corresponding quarter.
A total number of 7,294 ships passed through the canal in Q2 2017, compared to 7,021 ships in Q2 2016, with 3.9 percent increase, according to official data.
On a larger level, Suez Canal revenues in the first half (H1) of 2017 registered $2.938 billion, up from $2.919 billion, Mamesh said. More than 9,900 ships crossed the canal during that period, compared to 9,745 ships in H1 2016.
Two months after taking office, President Abdelfatah al-Sisi launched in August 2014 an $8.2 billion project to dig a new extension to the Suez Canal, to expand its capacity to 97 ships per day. The project is expected to bring the canal’s revenues to $13.5 billion by 2023, up from annual revenue of $5.5 billion by 2014.
Expecting to attract more ships to bypass through the canal, the new project, started operations in August 2015, reduced the sailing period for ships by 10 days, allowing two-way traffic.