Ocean carriers deploy 540,034 TEUs of capacity each week through the Suez Canal, according to data from BlueWater Reporting’s Capacity Report application.
Egyptian authorities arrested 13 suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood members accused of installing explosives on beaches and in sanitation and electrical facilities along a 120-mile stretch of the Suez Canal last week, according to reports from news outlet UPI. Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the group, which supports former President Mohammad Morsi, who was removed from power in 2013.
The Suez Canal is the primary shipping route between Asia and Europe, offering considerably shorter transit times and fuel savings compared with sailing around the Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost tip of Africa.
According to BlueWater Reporting’s Capacity Report application, an estimated 1,080,064 TEUs are deployed through the waterway on a weekly basis on a total of 60 direct region-to-region liner services utilizing the Suez.
The 2M Alliance, which consists of Maersk Line and MSC, operates 13 of these services. The CKYHE Alliance of COSCO, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and Evergreen Line, operates 11 of these services. The G6 Alliance, which consists of APL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, MOL, NYK, and OOCL, and the Ocean 3 Alliance of CMA CGM, CSCL and UASC each also operate nine of the 60 total services passing through the Suez.
The average vessel capacity going through the Suez Canal is 9,147 TEUs. 2M Alliance’s AE10/Silk and AE5/Albatross services, which operate in the Asia-Europe trade, have the largest average vessel capacities of all services utilizing the canal at 18,270 TEUs and 18,196 TEUs, respectively.
By comparison, carriers deploy an estimated 253,756 TEUs through the Panama Canal, considered the main competitor to the Suez in the Asia-East Coast North America trade lane, on a weekly basis.
A total of 34 direct region-to-region liner services utilize the Panama Canal, which is nearing the end of a massive expansion project aimed to accommodate the larger post-Panamax containerships that have become more common in the transpacific trade. The G6 Alliance operates four of these services, while the CKYH Alliance operates two and the CKYHE Alliance, 2M Alliance and Ocean 3 Alliance each operate one. The average vessel capacity on loops transiting the Central American waterway is 4,072 TEUs.
Currently, only vessels with capacity for around 5,000 TEUs can utilize the Panama Canal. According to the Panama Canal Authority, once the expansion is completed, the canal will be able to handle vessels with capacities up to 13,000 TEUs.