Suez crisis might nix slow steaming

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
February 10, 2011 - SCMR Editorial

A potential closure of the Suez Canal caused by the political unrest in Egypt would have a serious impact on container shipping, note analysts at Alphaliner.

Although a closure of the Suez canal is improbable, the risk of a disruption of vessel traffic in the canal cannot be totally excluded, they say. This would have a huge impact on container shipping which represents the largest vessel segment currently transiting the canal.

Containerships currently account for 55 percent of the net tonnage and for 38 percent of the total number of vessels transiting the Suez Canal. The high tonnage share of the containership transit is due to the larger size of container vessels that pass the canal compared to other vessel types.

Currently there are at least 56 affected containership strings. By far the majority of these are weekly services. Out of the total, 46 strings concern Far East- Europe services. In other words, about seven or eight containerships transit the canal every day in each direction.

Should the situation worsen, the most obvious alternative would be to re-route ships via the Cape of Good Hope. This would mean a much longer journey and such a decision might be weighed against the prospects of seeing the canal reopen soon.

Alphaliner notes that the distance between Singapore and Rotterdam, for example, stands at 11,800 nautical miles via Cape of Good Hope against 8,300 nautical miles via the Suez.

A likely consequence: an additional seven days of 20 knots steaming (one way) and a much higher fuel bill.

http://www.alphaliner.com



About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

83% of surveyed manufacturers either already have IoT implementations in place or plans to deploy within a year.

While the Port of Oakland agrees that Saturday gate operations might ease congestion, they have a few "concerns" of their own

The four international marine container terminals at the Port of Oakland have announced they are developing a program to operate their terminal gates on Saturdays to reduce weekday congestion at the port.

Private fleet managers are facing a remarkable set of challenges in today's demanding business environment. The "from any place at any time" omni-channel fulfillment mindset is just one significant development that companies have had to adapt to in their quest to keep customers and business partners happy.

This is the first guaranteed weekly service direct to the U.S. from Singapore as part of the company’s initiative to enhance its LCL offerings serving Trans-pacific needs.

Article Topics

Blogs · Supply Chain · Procurement · All topics

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.