- Longest canal in the world with no locks
- Compared with other waterways, the percentage of accidents is almost nil.
- Navigation goes day and night
- Liable to be widened and deepened when required to cope with the expansion in ship sizes.
Trade route saving
The geographical position of the Suez Canal makes it the shortest route between East and West as compared to the “Cape of Good Hope”. The Canal route achieves a saving in distance between the ports north and south the Canal, the matter that is translated into other savings in time, fuel consumption and ship operating costs as shown in the table below:
* Saving In Distance (Suez Canal & Cape)
Suez Canal Transit Tolls
The following table indicates the Suez canal transit dues taking effect as of January 1,1999. Further facilities and privileges are to be granted as explained below. click here for an easy way to calculate Suez Canal transit tolls
All figures is based on SDR (see below)
|Vessel type||Condition||First 5000||Next 5000||Next 10000||Next 20000||Next 30000||Next 50000||Rest|
|Tankers of Crude Oil||Laden||7,65||4,80||3,90||1,70||1,50||1,40||1,30|
|Tankers of Petroleum Products||Laden||7,65||4,80||3,90||2,35||2,30||2,20||2,10|
|Dry Bulk Carriers||Laden||7,65||5,20||4,40||1,40||1,30||1,25||1,20|
|Chemical and Other Liquid Bulk||Laden||8,00||5,50||4,70||3,00||2,90||2,80||2,80|
|General Cargo Ships||Laden||7,65||5,50||4,00||3,00||2,90||2,85||2,80|
|RO - RO Ships||Laden||7,65||5,30||4,30||3,10||2,90||2,80||2,70|
|Special Floating Units||Laden||8,30||5,10||4,80||3,40||3,20||2,90||2,80|
- If in ballast, chemical / oil tankers are to be charged at the same rate of Ballast Oil Tankers.
- If in ballast, combined carriers are to be charged at the same rate of Ballast Dry bulk carriers
The special drawing right SDR is an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund to supplement existing reserves. It is valued on the basis of a basket of five currencies and can be used in a wide variety of transactions and operations among official holders.
Useful transit information
- Master to try his best to adjust the non used double bottom tanks to read 6 inches or less in order to be considered as an empty tanks which will be exempted from Suez Canal Net Tonnage. - Water Ballast tanks will be exempted from Suez Canal Net Tonnage. - Minimum transit speed through the Canal is 14 km/hour, the following extra tolls will be levied in case the transit speed will be less than 14 km/hour:
Ship’s speed is less than the speed of:
|The group but not more than||Additional tolls|
|1 km/hour||10% of the transit tolls|
|2 km/hour||20% of the transit tolls|
|3 km/hour||30% of the transit tolls|
|4 km/hour||40% of the transit tolls|
|5 km/hour||80% of the transit tolls|
|6 km/hour or more||160% of the transit tolls|
-Vessel transiting the Canal should be equipped with open mooring boats or lifting appliances of minimum 2 tons lifting
capacity otherwise, the Suez Canal authority will apply imposed tug of SDR 17,000 (about USD27,000).
-Imposed tug of SDR 17,000 (about USD 27,000) might be applied in case of vessel's age over 25 years subject to SC pilot trial and previous transit record of the vessel.
A - Northbound Convoy:
(1) Starts at 0600 at Km. 160 and consists of two groups of vessels.
I -spa Navy ships, 4th Generation Containerships, 3rd Generation Containerships over 40.000 SC.G.T. & similar, LASH over 35.000 SC.G.T. LPG and LNG (Loaded or N.G.F) and loaded chemicals carriers
Ii - Loaded VLCC'S, conventional loaded Tankers and Bulk carriers (Draught over 38 feet or length over 950 feet B.P.)
Cargo and other vessels anchored in Suez Anchorage's.
N.B.: For safety measures, L,.P.G. and L.N.G . Vessels, in ballast or loaded and loaded chemicals in bulk are included in the Loaded Tankers group.
(2) The North bound convoy has a free run from Port of Suez till Port-Said. It passes through the East Kabrit channel, the Eastern dredged channel in the Bitter Lakes, the East channel of the Deversoir, the East channel of Lake Timsah, the East channel of Ballah loop and the East channel from KM. 17 Northward.
(3) In case the northbound convoy has to stop in the Bitter Lakes due to traffic situation of southbound convoy or emergency, the following must be considered:
Container vessels heading the convoy will drop anchor in the suitable East Anchorage Areas of the Bitter Lakes.
VLCC's will anchor in the suitable East Anchorage according to their draught.
All other vessels will anchor in the East Area corresponding to their draught. Three berths are available in Kabrit East Branch in case of emergency.
NOTE: L.P.G., L.N.G. in ballast or loaded, and chemicals loaded in bulk For safety measures, they are included in the Tankers Group.
B - Southbound First Convoy (N1)
(1) Starts from 0000 hrs to 0500 hrs and consists of 3 groups of vessels
Group A :Vessels in Port Said Harbor.
Group B :Vessels anchored in the Northern Anchorage Area consisting of 4th Generation Containerships, 3rd
Generation Containerships, VLCC's in ballast over 42 feet draught, LPG, LNG, N.G.F(LPG, LNG, N.G.F. vessels may join group A.) . vessels in ballast or loaded and LASH over 35.000 SC. G.T. This group will be headed by the Containerships and the first vessel will enter through Port Said East Approach channel in due time to join Group A at Km. 17.
Group C : Vessels anchored in Southern Anchorage Area will enter through Port Said West channel in due time to join Group B at Km. 17.
(2) This convoy has a free run to the Bitter Lakes, passes through the East branch of Ballah by-pass, the East channel of Lake Timsah, the Deversoir West channel and anchors in the Western Anchorage's in Bitter Lakes.
(3) The sequence of continue route from the Bitter Lakes will be Warships, LPG, LNG vessels, the 4th Generation Containerships, 3rd Generation Containerships over 40.000 SC.G. And LASH over 35.000 SC. G.T. followed by VLCC's in ballast and then other vessels. The first ship of the southbound convoy will regulate speed to cross the last northbound vessel abeam of Kabrit station.
C - Southbound Second Convoy (N2):
(1) Starts from 0630 hrs to 0900 hrs. The forming and depth of this convoy is subject to situation of traffic and limit time. A third group may enter Canal from 0300 to 0430 hours according to traffic situation.
(2) 3rd & 4th Generation Container ships with more than one propeller astern shall be ahead of this convoy to anchor at Temsah Lake (maximum two vessels).
(3) Vessels will make fast in Ballah West Branch (Maximum capacity 15 vessels according to the NR. of berths at Ballah Loop.), and continue route after the last Northbound vessel clears Km. 61.
(4) Dimensions of vessels that can make fast at Ballah West Branch should not exceed those indicated in the following table, excluding Tankers over 90000 Tons SC.G.T.
(5) Vessels not allowed to join this convoy are the following:
Loaded Tankers (or Bulk carriers) carrying Petroleum Grade A or similar substances (Flash point below 23ºC or 73ºF, ascertained by an open test or any equal degree of accuracy).
Liquefied inflammable gas vessels (LPG, LNG, or similar Loaded or Ballast N.G.F. vessels). Vessels not fitted with double bottom carrying chemicals in bulk.
Vessels carrying radioactive substance Group 1.
Vessels carrying dangerous wastes.
Heavy lifters (semi-submersible) carrying heavy lift units with tonnage exceeding the lifting capacity of their individual cranes.
Vessels carrying deck cargo protruding more than what is stated in Art. 26 of these Rules.
Suez Canal Authority decided the limit time for arrival to join the convoys will be on the basis of passing the following latitudes:
At Port Said:(South of Lat. 31' 28.7" N)
A-Tankers group (North of Lat. 29' 42.8" N)
B- Other vessels: (North of Lat. 29' 48.33 N)
Following vessels which intend to join the south bound convoy are not allowed for shifting in Port Said inner harbor: LPG, LNG, laden or ballast N.G.F., and vessels with S.C.GRT over 40,000 or with arrival draft of 38 and over.
Note that either north or south bound, masters to ensure sending regular arrival notices 5,3,2 days and 24 hours before arrival to S.C.A. and to our office (Rafimar)
The necessary information for your transit: Vessel name, Ex name and nationality/call sign/type.
-Date of last transit and if there is any changes done to vessel's particulars.
-Max. arrival draft /LOA/breadth.
-Vessel status (Laden/Ballast) and cargo on board
-If carrying dangerous cargo on board, state quantity, class and UN number
-If carrying cement cargo, state the quantity.
Upon arrival of indicated positions call Port Said pilot station/boat by VHF Ch. 12/16 to report your arrival and anchor time. Try your best to fill the declaration of double bottom tanks which will be provided by S.C. representatives specially the non used tanks.
A- Documents to be produced are:
1) Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate and Calculation Sheets (3 copies in the first transit).
2) Certificate of Registry & ship's drawing.
3) Statistical Declaration.
4) Extract from the vessel's official documents and information concerning the vessel's type and her cargo (Containers, barges, etc ...).
5) Declaration concerning the use of double bottom tanks and the lower parts of the high tanks.
6) Declaration concerning vessels in ballast.
7) Declaration of State of Navigability.
8) The last Classification Certificate issued.
9) Any other information necessary for transiting the Canal.
10) Piping plan and general arrangement plan for LPG and LNG vessels.
11) I.O.P.P International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate of Compliance and its supplement for the record of construction and equipment as amended for tanker vessels.
12) I.S.P.C Certificate.
B- Vessel wishing to transit the Canal must declare at the CA Offices and pay the various dues mentioned in Part IV Chap. XIII of the present Rules. She must furnish the CA Officials wit
1-i all the particulars requested by her agent's.
C -The vessel must in addition comply with the requirements of the A.R.E. Government Authorities.
D - In case the CA deems it necessary to be supplied with a new Seaworthiness Certificate issued by a recognized classification society belonging to I.A.C.S.
Seaworthiness Certificates to be accepted by SCA, if in native language, are to be translated into Arabic or English and duly certified by the Embassy or Consulate in the ARE.
E - Navy ships transiting the SC Waters must be provided with a Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate showing the SC.G. and N.T. If such document is not on board, the Commanding Officer has to give, in writing, the following information:
Name of Ship.
Name of Commanding Officer.
Call sign of the ship (Radio Call).
L. 0. A., B.O.A. and depth of the ship.
(As long as the ship is not provided with the SC Special Tonnage Certificate, transit dues will be levied on the temporary Gross Tonnage product of the empirical formula without any allowance till the presentation of the documents required).
-Vessels transiting the Canal must have mooring boats as mentioned hereafter hired from the Suez Canal Mooring Company approved by SCA.
-In case no mooring (Open type lifeboat )boats from the said company are available, ship's boats if suitable for mooring in the Canal can be used and must be manned by shore crew, hired from the SC mooring company, each boat is to be manned by three men.
-One mooring boat or one motor boat for vessels under 2500 tons gross, SC.G.T.
-One motor boat for vessels from 2500 to 5000 tons gross, SC.G.T.
-Two motor boats or one motor boat and one mooring boat for vessels from 5000 SC.G.T. to 30000 SC.G.T.
-Two motor boats for vessels over 30000 tons gross, SC.G.T.
-Ships may ask for additional motor boats or mooring boats according to Master's request. These mooring boats must be in constant readiness for lowering to run the ropes to the mooring posts without any delay during the transit of the vessel.
-Ships must be fitted with well maintained lifting appliances capable of lifting mooring boats of 4 tons weight (Including crew members).
-Ships may carry extra mooring boats as passengers for the interest of navigation. However, LPG LNG, and Loaded Tankers are not allowed any extra boats.
-The handling of mooring boats must be carried out well clear from the ship's propellers.
-Masters are requested to reduce speed during lifting or lowering operations of mooring boats, an officer must be in charge, to avoid accidents that may endanger the life of mooring men.
-If the vessel has no means for lifting mooring boats and ship's boats are not suitable for mooring in the Canal, the vessel shall not be allowed to transit the Canal.
It is historically recorded that Egypt was the first country to dig a man-made canal across its lands to connect the Mediterranean sea to the Red sea via the River Nile and its branches, and the first who dug it was Senausert III, Pharaoh of Egypt (1874 B.C.) . This canal was abandoned to silting and reopened several times as follows:
|- The canal of Sity I||1310 B.C.|
|- The canal of Nkhaw||61 B.C.|
|- The canal of Darius I||510 B.C.|
|- The canal of Ptolemy II||285 B.C.|
|- The canal of the Romans (Emperor Trajan)||117 B.C.|
|- The canal of Amir El Moemeneen||640 A.D.|
- The Suez canal is actually the first canal directly linking the Mediterranean sea to the Red sea. It was opened for international navigation on 17 November 1869. - Egypt nationalized its canal on 26 July 1956 - The canal was closed five times, the last time was for 8 years (1967-1975) and was reopened in 1975
The dredging of the canal took almost 10 years using Egyptian labor, and it was opened for navigation for the first time in 17 November 1869. Its depth was about 8 meters, its water are was 304 m 2 and the largest ship load that can pass through was 5000 tons, which was typical for ships sizes in these days. As the ships developed and increased its sizes, the canal needed to be developed, which happened when it was still a foreign joint venture before being publicized to take ships with depth of 35 feet and its water area to be 1200 m 2 by the end of 1956 and when the canal was publicized by the Egyptian government on the 26th of July 1956. The Egyptian administration was keen to develop the Navigation canal even more on different stages.
In May 1962, the water area of the canal was to reach 1800 m 2 and the allowed depth to 38 feet. In June 1966, a development was to be executed on 2 stages as it was announced the depth would reach 48 and 58 feet consecutively. This program was started, but was soon halted due to the war that erupted on the 5th of June, 1967. It was reopened for international; navigation in June 1975 after purifying it from the ships that sank in its bottom during in the 1967 and 1973 wars,The canal still with the same water area and depth as before it was closed.
The development projects then started by the Egyptian administration and received to ships of a 210,000 tons load, specially after increasing the water area to 4800 m 2 and a ship draft of 62 feet , with a length of 191.80 km, in addition to the redesign of the canal's turns so that each one has a radius of at least 5000 m and also dredging a new bypass starting from the 17th km south of port said heading directly to the Mediterranean east of port Fouad to allow the loaded ships going north to go to the sea without passing through port said port.
The ship draft reached 66 feet by 2010,this stage taking all container vessels; about 17,000 container vessels; as well as taking all bulk vessels world wide. The Canal will be able to take in about 99 % of all methods used in world maritime transport after reaching a depth of 72 feet (Target stage,Under Study), as well as taking about 96.2% of the dead weight tons for the bulk vessels 80.3% of the petroleum tanks and a 100% of all the remaining types of ships used in maritime transport; specially container vessels with all its future generations; in addition to empty vessels reaching up to 440 thousand tons.
Stages of developing the Suez Canal :
|Width at 11 m depth||M||--||60||89||160/175||170/190||180/200||195/215||205/225||205/225|
|Water depth Max.||M||8||14||15.5||19.5||20.5||21||22.5||24||24|
|Draft of ship||Feet||22||35||38||53||56||58||62||66||66|
|Cross Sectional Area||M2||304||1200||1800||3250/3600||3600/4000||3850/4300||4350/4800||4800/5200||4800/5200|
Note :Bypasses length is calculated according to the kilometric numbering of buoys at the beginning and end of each bypass.
|Overall length||193 km|
|From the fairway buoy to Port Said lighthouse||22.5 km|
|From the waiting area to the southern entrance||15 km|
|From Port Said to Ismailia||78.5 km|
|From Ismailia to Port Tawfik||83.65 km|
|The length of doubled parts||68 km|
|Width at water level||300/365 m|
|Width between buoys||180/205 m|
|Maximum permissible draught for ships||68 ft.|
|The canal depth||21m|
|Maximum permissible air draft||68 m|
|Cross sectional area||4500/4800 m2|
Facts and Figures:
|Actual dredged quantities according to progress of works||258.8 million cubic meters|
|Duration of execution||12 months, including mobilization of dredgers|
|Consortium's first dredger to be employed in the project||Dredger "Al-Marifaa" on Nov. 5th,2014|
|Quantities of Dry excavation works||250 million cubic meters|
|Highest daily rate of dredged quantities was achieved by dredger "Ibn Batouta" on April 6th,2015||230,000 cubic meters|
|Highest daily output of dredged quantities was achieved on May 31th ,2015||1.73 million cubic meters|
|Number of dredgers employed in the project||45 dredgers|
|Number of sedimentation basins||20 basins|
The Project:Construction of a new Canal from km 60 to km 95, in addition to deepening and widening of the Great Bitter Lakes by-passes and Ballah by-pass, with a total length of 37 km, (Total length of the project is 72 km)
Idea of the Project:
Creating a new canal, parallel to the existing one, to maximize benefit from the present Canal and its by-passes, and double the longest possible parts of the waterway to facilitate traffic in the two directions and minimize the waiting time for transiting ships. This will certainly reduce the time needed for the trip from one end of the Canal to the other, and will increase the numerical capacity of the waterway, in anticipation of the expected growth in world trade. The project goes side by side with the Suez Canal Area Development Project. The two projects will add to the importance of the Suez Canal, and will make it the route of choice for ship owners the world over, putting any alternative routes out of competition. The project will also have quite a positive impact on the Egyptian national income as it will boost the hard currency earnings, provide much needed job opportunities and create new urban communities.
Project Objectives:-Boosting the hard currency earnings for the Egyptian national income
Project Returns and Outcome:-Increase the daily average of transiting vessels to 97 ships by the year 2023, up from 49 ships at present;
Duration of the project:The project is due to be completed in 12 months (one year).
Dry Excavation works:Volume of dry excavation works amounts to 258 million cubic meters, at an estimate cost of EGP 4billion.
Revetment works:Revetments shall extend along the Canal with a length of 100km; at an estimate cost of EGP 500 million.
Dredging works:Dredging works amount to about 250 million cubic meters of soil, at an estimate cost of EGP billion 15.
Other related works:-Deepening the existing western by-passes of 37 km total length to a depth of 24m (66ft draught): The western by-passes comprise those by-passes at the Great Bitter Lakes of 27km long, and those at Ballah of 10km long -Digging of 35km of a new parallel waterway, to a depth of 24m, and a width of 317m at water level, so that the new channel can accommodate vessels with up to 66 ft. draught;