REVISED southbound transit rules introduced by the Suez Canal Authority this month will allow larger containerships returning from Europe to the Far East to reduce their passage time by up to half a day.
Under the amended rules container vessels over 95,000 special Suez Canal tonnage (SCGT) are now able to join the second daily southbound convoy (N2) transiting the Suez Canal, upon payment of a surcharge, reports Alphaliner.
The change follows dredging work executed in the Ballah waiting bypass to accommodate containerships with a draft of up to 14.63 metres, an overall length (Loa) of up to 370 metres and a maximum beam of 50 metres (roughly equivalent to 13,000 TEU ships of neo-panamax dimensions).
Depending upon the ships' size and draft and their time of arrival at the Suez Canal anchorage, a surcharge of between eight and 12 per cent will be levied on top of the regular canal fee.
Suez Canal dues are calculated in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), a weighted currency basket of the US dollar, the Euro, the British Pound and the Japanese Yen.
The charges are capped at between SDR17,000 and SDR20,000 for ships below SCGT 101,000 with a draft of up to 14.71 metres, and at between SDR20,000 and SDR30,000 for larger ships and/or ships with deeper drafts.
For large containerships, which so far were not allowed to use the second southbound convoy (N2), this can reduce the overall transit time on eastbound (meaning southbound in the canal) legs by more than half a day.
Ships, which would otherwise miss the first southbound convoy (N1) at midnight, are now able join the second group a few hours later.
In the northbound direction (westbound trade), the canal transit remains based on a single daily convoy (S1) leaving Suez early in the morning.
Source : HKSG.