As the largest customer of the Suez Canal with more than 1,400 transits in 2014, the Maersk Group has welcomed the expansion of the Suez Canal and the advantages it entails.
Egypt has all through the 20th and 21st century acted as the bridge between Europe and Asia thereby enabling global trade and growth.
From 2004 to 2014 container volumes transported via the Suez Canal has grown around 70% and the expansion confirms the Suez Canal Authority’s continuous commitment to accommodating growth in trade.
Maersk Group representative and CEO of Maersk Drilling, Claus V. Hemmingsen participated in the official opening of the Suez Canal yesterday along with COO of Maersk Line, Søren Toft.
“The Suez Canal is a key corridor on the East/West trade. Maersk has used the corridor for more than 90 years and we welcome the easier transit and reduced transit times that the new expansion will bring,” said Maersk Group representative and CEO of Maersk Drilling Claus V. Hemmingsen.
The Suez Canal accounts for roughly 7.5% of world sea trade and container vessels account for over 50% of the canal’s tonnage passage. Maersk Line contributes with 20% of the container transits, and virtually all Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe cargo goes through the Canal.
“The extension will enable larger vessels to transit, benefitting not only the shipping companies, but also our partners and world trade as a whole,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen.
Prior to the extension, the southbound transit took 18 hours and the northbound took 11 hours. After the opening of the extension, both ways will only take 11 hours. With the current expansion the next generation of vessels should also be able to transit safely and without delay.
“The development in the number of transits through the canal underscores the need of having a canal that guarantees quick passage both ways and helps relieve bottlenecks, accommodating growth in trade and vessel sizes – an effort we welcome from all our partners and suppliers,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen.