UK Chamber of Shipping says Suez Canal Expansion “game changer”

Excerpt from: AJOT | August 9 2015

The new Suez Canal expansion, which was officially opened last week, will be a game changer for the future of global trade, the UK Chamber of Shipping has said.
{Photo Source:}Suez Canal and Ship

The extension to the canal has seen 72 kilometres of new canal created, parallel to the current channel. The projected included 35 kilometres of dry digging and 37 kilometres of deepening, As a result, the number of daily transits will rise from 49 to at least 85 over the next ten years.

With 90% of the world’s trade moving by sea, and the UK being heavily reliant on trade with the Far East, restrictions on transits through the existing canal can unnecessarily extend the journey of imports and exports.

At present the canal is too narrow for two-way traffic. Container ships need to wait for an allocated time slot before they can begin to transit in convoy with other ships. The new capacity will mean ships can move through the canal when they need to without delay – making trade more efficient and allowing for further economic growth.

UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten said:

“The existing canal has done wonders for world trade. But this extension is akin to turning a B-road into a fully-fledged motorway. More ships transiting through the canal will provide a significant boost to the UK’s trade with the Far East.

Mr Platten also said the extension will ‘futureproof’ world trade:

‘The volume of trade moved by sea will double in the next twenty years, and dramatically increasing the number of ships being able to move through the canal will facilitate new growth.