Expanded in 2015 to accommodate more ships, the Suez Canal allows the transport of goods to and from Africa, giving passage to nearly 20,000 carrier ships each year, making it the third largest source of revenue for Egypt. In 2021, it brought in more income than ever before in the country's history, despite a stormy episode last March.
Remember last March, the images of the huge container ship Ever Given, 400 meters long, blocked across the Suez Canal, had gone around the world. This incident caused a total halt to commercial traffic through the Suez Canal, which represents no less than 10% of world commercial traffic. A significant loss for the carriers of goods, but especially for the Egyptian state, whose Suez Canal Authority (SCA) estimates to have lost between 12 and 15 million dollars per day of closure of the canal, that the Ever Given had blocked for 6 days.
Despite this thorny incident, the data released by the SCA reveals the Suez Canal’s record-breaking figures for the past year in many aspects. A total of 20,700 ships passed through the famous canal, carrying 1.3 billion tons of cargo. A figure that seems to be increasing year after year, as the number of ships was 18,800 in 2020, and 17,500 in 2015.
5.5 billion in transit fees paid by ships to the Egyptian authorities, the highest turnover ever recorded on the canal, representing 3% of the country’s GDP. They are 13% higher than in 2020: enough to make up for the 6 days of missing revenue due to Ever Given.
And those numbers are estimated to more than double by 2023, to $13 billion in annual income, thanks to several canal developments.