© Oleksandr Kalinichenko

Not sure if this is that much of a surprise – as The Loadstar reported last year during a visit to Suez when the Egyptian government formally opened the canal’s second channel, there has considerable doubt in the country and elsewhere as to how to pay for the $7.6bn project. This has been heightened since Panama opened its expanded canal and Asia-US east coast strings have begun to be rerouted through the Pacific-Atlantic waterway. In the year to June, revenues at Suez were down 4.5% year-on-year. In order to lock-in its revenues on a medium-term basis, the canal authority is now proposing major box lines receive a 3% discount on tolls fees if they pay for three-to-five in advance. Maersk has confirmed that discussions with the authority are under way.

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