In a statement, Rabie said that the annual revenues of the canal in 2021 increased by 12.8 percent, a $720 million increase from 2020 when the key international waterway brought in $5.6 billion in revenues to the country.
The Suez Canal, which is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency.
The canal received in 2021 its largest annual net tonnage ever — 1.27 billion tonnes, according to the statement.
The total tonnage of 2021 represented an 8.5 percent increase over the 1.17 billion tonnes recorded in 2020, according to the SCA’s statement.
Furthermore, the canal witnessed the crossing of 20,694 ships from both directions during 2021, compared to 2020’s 18,830 ships, representing a 10 percent rise.
Rabie stressed that the hikes in tonnage and number of ships that crossed the canal during 2021 reflect the success of the flexible marketing and pricing policies pursued by the SCA in gaining the confidence of the navigation community.
It also reflects flexible dealing by the SCA with the changes occurring in the maritime transport industry in light of the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, he added.
The SCA’s marketing efforts played a major role in increasing the number ships crossing the canal for the first time to an unprecedented 1,532 ships, which brought a revenue of $597.6 million.
The statement also reported that the number of liquified natural gas carriers increased by 36.6 percent from 686 ships in 2020 to 937 ships in 2021, and container ships transiting the canal also increased by 10 percent to reach a total of 5,186 container ships compared to 2020’s 4,710 ships.
In March 2021, navigation in the Suez Canal was interrupted when the gigantic shipping vessel Ever Given, which was carrying 224,000-tonnes of merchandise, ran aground and blocked the canal for nearly 6 days.
The incident disrupted the global shipping movement and halted the passage of hundreds of ships from the canal and incurred financial losses for the SCA.
However, in a spectacular rescue-and-re-float effort, Egypt managed to resume navigation in the Suez Canal in less than one week.