Suez Canal toll revenues fell by 4.4% in September, the first full month of operations since the waterway’s expansion was inaugurated.
Figures released by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) showed that toll revenues slipped to US$448.8m in September, down 4.4% from US$469.8% at the same time last year.
Overall in the first nine months of 2015, toll revenues totalled US$3.9bn, representing a 5.0% decrease from US$4.1bn over the same period last year.
Prior to the Suez Canal’s expansion, the SCA projected that its revenues would surge from US$5.3bn last year to US$13.2bn in 2023.
However, many industry experts have received these results with scepticism, pointing out that the SCA has not made its research public or had it independently verified.
In September, Neil Davidson, senior analyst at Drewry, told CM: “To achieve their ambitious targets, the SCA would somehow need to see toll revenue grow at about 10% yearly, when the outlook for the shipping industry is nowhere near that level.”
The figures round off a particularly bleak month for many key players in container shipping, with Maersk last week reducing its profit forecast, partly due to an expected volume reduction of 200,000 teu during the remainder of the year.