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Web Alert: Container lines avoiding Panama and Suez Canals due to charges

17 February 2016

Container lines are adopting alternative routes to the Panama and Suez Canals to avoid charges say the Copenhagen-based SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.

SeaIntel state that since October 2015, 115 vessels deployed on Asia-USEC and Asia-north Europe services made the trip back to Asia by sailing south of Africa rather than through the Suez and Panama canals. The Suez Canal Authority states that the number of laden container vessels passing through the Suez Canal in 2015 dropped 2.8% from 2014.

The additional distance of rounding Africa is offset by faster average speeds, lower fuel prices and savings on charges. However, faster speeds and larger distances result in greater CO2 emissions.