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Shipping volume in Suez Canal drops 28% after disruptions

Shipping volume in the Suez Canal dropped 28 percent year on year in the 10 days ending Jan. 2, official data has revealed.

Latest figures released by the International Monetary Fund’s PortWatch platform show that disruptions in the Red Sea have increased in recent weeks, putting vital trade flows at risk.
On the other hand, the data further disclosed that the shipping volume in the Cape of Good Hope has surged 67 percent during the same period.

This is mainly attributed to the fact that last month’s attacks on ships in the Red Sea have caused disruptions in the maritime trade as leading global freight firms rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Suez Canal.

In mid-December, major freight companies — including MSC and Denmark’s Maersk— initiated this rerouting strategy around Africa, incurring additional costs and delays, as anticipated by industry analysts.

At that time, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority chief emphasized closely monitoring the tensions in the Red Sea and their potential impact on canal traffic.

In a statement, Chairman Osama Rabea said the authority is “closely following the consequences of current tensions in the Red Sea on the traffic in the canal.”

However, toward the end of the month, there were indications of a return to the Suez Canal route, with Maersk announcing the scheduling of several dozen container vessels for travel via the waterway and the Red Sea in the upcoming weeks.

The company acknowledged that the schedule was subject to change based on specific contingency plans that might be formulated.

Maersk also disclosed preparations for a return to the Red Sea for both eastbound and westbound journeys.

Concurrently, France’s CMA CGM announced an increase in the number of vessels traveling through the Suez Canal.

About 15 percent of world shipping traffic transits the waterway, serving as the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Additionally, the Suez Canal holds significance as a crucial source of foreign currency for Egypt.
Source: Arab News

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