A vessel crossing Suez Canal waterway. Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
Between July 2021 and June 2022, some 1.32 billion tonnes of cargo were shipped through the canal, its largest annual net tonnage ever, up from 1.19 billion tonnes in FY2020/21 — an increase of 10.9 percent.
Furthermore, as many as 22,032 ships crossed the pathway this year, compared to 19,047 ships — an increase of 15.7 percent.
Rabie asserted that the current global crises have proven the Egyptian canal’s leadership and importance to ensuring the stability and sustainability of global supply chains.
The Suez Canal — which connects the Mediterranean and the Red Seas — is the shortest maritime route between Asia and Europe and the fastest crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.
The sea-level canal is also the longest unlocked pathway in the world, with a normal transit time from end-to-end of about 13 to 15 hours.
Around 12 percent of the world’s trade passes through the canal.
It is also one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency.
The canal recorded its highest monthly revenues between May and June 2022, while April and May witnessed the largest net tonnages in the canal’s history, Rabie pointed out.
Also, the chairperson stressed that “the unprecedented” revenues are a reflection of the success of the SCA’s marketing policies to attract new navigation companies to pass through the canal.
Furthermore, Rabie pointed out that the achieved success is a result of the country’s plan to develop the vital water way, including improving navigation services for crossing ships.
In June, the SCA started work on extending the two-way segment of the canal by 10 kilometres. The second phase of the plan aims to widen and deepen a 30-kilometre segment of the canal by 40 metres, Rabie said in a news conference on the process in mid-February.
However, in March 2021, navigation in the Suez Canal was interrupted when the gigantic shipping vessel, the Ever Given — which was carrying 224,000 tonnes of merchandise — ran aground and blocked the canal for nearly six days.
The incident disrupted the global shipping movement and halted the passage of hundreds of ships from the canal, incurring huge 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 a week.