This picture taken on November 17, 2019 shows the Liberia-flagged container ship RDO Concord sailing through Egypt s Suez Canal in the canal s central hub city of Ismailia on the 150th anniversary of the canal s inauguration. AFP
The new canal section, inaugurated on 6 August 2015, has increased the total length of the Suez Canal by around 17.8 percent to 193.3 km and more than doubled the waterway’s depth to 24 metres.
With this new capacity, the canal can now accommodate a width of 45 ships at a time traveling in both directions. This has dropped the average transit time for ships from 18 hours in 2014 to 11 in 2023.
The canal has blown past earlier records since its upgrade; quarterly revenues reached an all-time record in the first quarter of 2023 at $2.3 billion, with $904.4 million earned in April alone.
On 13 March, a record 107 ships transited the canal in one day without stopping.
The Egyptian government originally funded the parallel waterway through investment certificates sold to Egyptian nationals, valued at a total of EGP 64 billion at the time.
Approximately 12 percent of global trade passes through the Suez Canal and its parallel waterway, making it Egypt’s second-largest source of revenue after tourism.