The Suez Canal Authority has reported record results for the number of transits of ships and revenues in 2021 despite the grounding in the international waterway of the giant Ever Given containership for six days in March.
“The Suez Canal achieved the high annual revenue in its history of $6.3 billion, and the largest annual net tonnage of 1.27 billion tons during 2021,” said Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority.
Revenues were up 12.8 %. Net tonnage rose by 8.5%. By comparison, world trade expanded by 4% in 2021.
The Suez authority attributed an increase of $1.1 billion in revenues to the canal’s marketing efforts and working with shipping companies during the pandemic. For example, he cited lowering fees by 15 percent for passenger ships and efforts to help the shipping companies to return crews that had become stranded during the pandemic.
A total of 1,532 vessels transited the canal for the first time – generating nearly $600 million in new revenues.
The number of ships transiting the canal showed a strong increase, reaching 20,694 for the full year, representing a spike of 10% versus 2020
The SCA pointed to strong growth from all the major categories of shipping led by LNG carriers. In percentage increase, LNG carriers were up by more than a third to 937 ships transiting the canal, but containerships remained the largest overall category. A total of 5,186 containership transits were completed in 2021 – up by 10 percent versus the prior year. Bulk carrier transits were also strong with revenues from the category exceeding one billion dollars for the first time.
For 2022, the SCA nonetheless plans to increase transit fees on average by 6%. This will apply to most of the major categories of ships, except LNG carriers. The SCA also plans to provide incentives to encourage green shipping in 2022. (Photo from Evergreen of Ever Ace transiting Suez Canal)