Wednesday , 18 September 2019
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As thousands of people continue to gather ‘Liberation Square’ in Cairo in protest against the government of Hosni Mubarak, operations at the Suez Canal and its adjacent ports remain of real concern to the maritime industry. It is speculated that the price of oil will increase to more than US$120 a barrel should the canal be closed and with that a ripple effect will be felt throughout the world from rising prices.

Suez update

However, the canal is currently not closed and the risk of this happening appears to be growing less with each day. The following report which will bring some comfort comes courtesy of Gulf Agency Company.

As the latest political developments unfold in Egypt, transits of the Suez Canal continue unaffected, and the daily curfew has been further relaxed (now in place from 2000 hours local time every evening until 06.00 hours the following morning).

Some delays and congestion of stacking areas may be experienced at container terminals, although import container consignees have started picking up shipments and custom clearance is working half-day at Alexandria port.

Break bulk operations are only permitted for non-direct delivery cargo, and discharge operations are slow, due to a shortage of labour and diesel for shore equipment.

GAC may accept to provide supporting services for vessels’ transit – such as crew changes/supplies and spare part delivery, etc. – subject to curfew time allowance and sufficient advance notice being given.

Banks have reopened for local business for a week. Remittances were unaffected as GAC worked closely with banks to ensure that funds for Suez Canal transits etc. were transferred without any problems.