Egypt Raises Fees for Key Maritime Transit

In an effort to boost revenue amid a cash crunch, Egypt increased prices on Tuesday for transit fees related to the Suez Canal.

In a statement on its website, the Suez Canal Authority said that the increase is due to “the significant growth in global trade” and the canal’s “development and enhancement of its transit service.”

Liquefied petroleum gas tankers, chemical tankers, and other liquid bulk tankers are reportedly paying 10% more in transit fees. The increase will apply to vessels transporting vehicles, gas, general cargo, as well as multipurpose vessels, according to the announcement. A 5% increase will apply to oil and crude tankers and dry bulk vessels, it said.

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Depending on changes in global shipping, the hikes might be revised or cancelled, it added.

An oversized vessel ran aground on the southern part of the canal in March 2021 and closed it off. Authorities have since been working to widen and deepen the waterway’s southern portion.

Shipments around the world were disrupted by the Ever Given’s six-day blockage. Many ships were forced to take the long alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip, which added fuel costs and other expenses. A number of other ships remained in place to await the end of the blockade.

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The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red seas, is responsible for about 10% of global trade. The canal, which opened in 1869, serves as both a source of national pride and foreign currency for Egypt.

The number of vessels passing through the canal last year was 20,649, an increase of 10% from 18,830 vessels in 2020. It generated the highest revenue in its history in 2021: $6.3 billion.

According to Adm. Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, 1,713 vessels passed through the waterway last month, bringing in $545 million in revenues. Last February, 1,532 vessels passed through the canal, bringing in $474 million.

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A pandemic is still impacting the shipping industry, and Russia’s war in Ukraine will likely exacerbate concerns about the global economy.

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