Suez Canal takes advantage of Panama delay
The Suez Canal is well poised to take advantage of delays affecting the Panama Canal, having already started to take some business away from the Panama Canal this year due to the economies of scale it permits.
Shipping Consultants Drewry say the further postponement to the opening of the Panama Canal’s enlarged locks from mid-2015 to end 2015 will be welcomed by the Suez Canal Authority.
“It has already persuaded several ocean carriers operating on the arterial route between Asia and the East Coast of North America (ECNA) to change allegiance this year, and now has more time to persuade others to follow suite,” read a statement from Drewry’s research team.
It says the proportion of vessel capacity operating from Asia to ECNA via the Suez Canal increased from around a third between October 2010 and October 2012 up to 42% in October 2013, with the Panama Canal’s share conversely falling from two third’s to 58%.
This was achieved by ocean carriers increasing the average size of vessel passing through Suez from 6,911 teu to 7,756 teu over the past 12 months, as well as the transfer of Maersk’s TP7 schedule from Panama to Suez, whilst vessels deployed in the services using the Panama Canal have remained restricted to less than 5,000 teu capacity.