In spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suez Canal maintained the momentum on vessel transits in 2020, with 18,829 ships with a total net tonnage of 1.17 billion tons using the waterway, compared to the record year of 2019 which saw 18,880 vessel transits with a total net tonnage of 1.21 billion tons.
According to the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, in spite of global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the Canal also earned $ 5.61 billion in revenue in 2020, its third highest annual revenue.
Lieutenant General Rabie highlighted that the ‘flexible marketing and pricing policies’ introduced by the Authority to attract new business and shipping lines have proved to be successful, attracting 4,087 ‘new’ vessels to the waterway, which represented about 16.6% of the total revenue from the Canal last year.
Transits of of bulk vessels increased from 4,200 vessels in 2019 to 5,113 vessels in 2020, while the number of general cargo ships increased from 1,499 to 1792 in 2020.
Incentives granted to container ships were able to attract many shipping lines during 2020, he said, with numbers totalling 4,710. Despite the downturn in global demand for petroleum products last year, oil tanker transits held up well, at 5,006 vessels.
Lieutenant General Rabie said that Canal transit fees would remain unchanged in 2021.