Navigation in Suez Canal running smoothly in both directions: CEO Rabie

Ahram Online , Saturday 13 Jan 2024

Osama Rabie, the head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), said in a statement issued Saturday that navigation in the Suez Canal was running smoothly in both directions.

Suez Canal
A container carrier moving through the Suez canal on Saturday 13 January, 2024. Photo courtesy of SCA.


“The canal witnessed the passage of 44 ships in both directions, with a total net cargo of 2.3 million tons,” the statement read as news of shipping companies following the US-UK strikes on the Houthi strongholds in Yemen circulated in the last 48 hours.

Rabie affirmed the Suez Canal Authority's commitment to opening direct channels of communication with shipping companies and coordinating with maritime lines to serve the maritime community and ensure the sustainability of global supply chains.

Rabie's statement comes following the warning issued by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to all ships to "stay well away from Bab al-Mandab strait” as a result of US-UK strikes on Houthi strongholds in Yemen.

CMF is a multinational maritime partnership led by the U.S. from Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet is based. CMF has 39 members, including Egypt, NATO and European states, regional countries, and other nations.

The Houthis have carried out a growing number of missile and drone attacks in the key Red Sea international trade route. They say they are targeting Israeli-linked shipping.

Egypt expressed on Friday its concern over the escalation of military operations in the Red Sea region following the airstrikes carried out by US and British forces in Yemen, and called for de-escalation.

Around 12 percent of global trade passes through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Red Sea entrance between southwest Yemen and Djibouti.

But since mid-November, Houthi attacks have affected trade flows when supply strains are already putting upward pressure on inflation globally.

On Thursday, Suez Canal Authority CEO Osama Rabie said the ship traffic in Egypt's Suez Canal has decreased by 30 percent since the beginning of 2024, compared to 2023, due to recent tensions in the Red Sea.

The number of vessels passing through the Suez Canal dropped to 544 in 2024, down from 777 in the same period of 2023, Rabie told Egyptian media.

Furthermore, the dollar revenues from the Suez Canal have dropped by 40 percent, and the loads shrank by 41 percent, in the period between 1 and 11 January, compared to 2023, he added.

Short link: