The traffic developments through the Suez Canal showed the change in each type of transient and cargo ships, which gives an indication of the future of traffic in the canal, according to analysis conducted by Daily News Egypt.
According to data, the contradiction between the low number of vessels and higher payloads shows a tendency to rely on bigger ships to save costs. The Suez Canal will have to cope with this development and maintain an appropriate depth to meet the requirements of these larger vessels.
The Suez Canal succeeded in raising the number and tonnage of ships gradually over the past three years, with 16,596 vessels registered in 2013 at a total of 915.467m tonnes. In 2014, 17,148 ships transited the canal with a total of 962.748m tonnes.
A total 17,483 ships transited the canal in 2015 with 998.652m tonnes of cargo. Traffic data during this period suggest that despite maintaining growth in the Suez Canal, there was a decline.
In 2014, the annual growth of the number of vessels increased by 3.33% and payloads by 5.16%. However the annual growth rate fell in 2015 by 1.95% in terms of number of ships, while cargo growth dropped by 3.73%.
The slowdown in traffic growth explained why traffic fees were unchanged in 2015 with the decision to amend the published navigational note No. 8 for 1994, which granted a reduction of 35% to liquefied natural gas tankers transiting the Suez Canal so that the reduction drops to 25%.
The roots of navigation note on LNG tankers go back to a decision in 1994 taken to support the Gulf states in reducing transit fees of gas shipments to Europe to make it more competitive.
But the Research Department of the Suez Canal Authority showed that the reduction can be amended without affecting the competitiveness of Gulf natural gas prices.