The Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), located east of the northern entrance of the Suez Canal, at the convergence of the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe, is preparing for an even larger role in global trade as the expansion of the man-made waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas enables increased vessel traffic.
Four additional Super-Post-Panamax cranes scheduled for delivery to the terminal in mid-2016 will bring SCCT’s crane total to 24, increasing the terminal’s annual throughput capacity to 5.4 million TEUS, and making it the largest container terminal by capacity on the Mediterranean Sea.
“As one of the world’s most important waterways, the expanded Suez Canal will play an even greater role as a gateway of global trade, and we are proud to be a part of that ongoing progress for Port Said East, the people of Egypt, and the global shipping industry,” said APM Terminals’ Chief Operating Officer Jeff De Best, who attended the official Suez Canal expansion opening ceremonies held yesterday.
APM Terminals is the majority shareholder in SCCT, with a 55% ownership. Other shareholders include Chinese-based COSCO Pacific, with 20%, the Suez Canal Authority, with 10.3%, and the National Bank of Egypt, with 5%. The remaining shares are held by the Egyptian private sector.
Over USD $800 million has been invested in the terminal, which opened in October 2004, and has become one of the busiest container facilities in the region, handling 3.5 million TEUS, primarily for transhipment, in 2014.
Approximately one tenth of all global seaborne trade transits the Suez Canal, representing 18,000 vessels transiting annually, including container ships. The new STS cranes, representing an investment of USD 42 million will each have a 72 meter reach, and a height of 52 meters, with the ability to handle the world’s largest vessels now entering the global fleet.
There are currently 29 vessels of 18,000 TEU capacity and above in service, with another 68 on order, deployed on the Far East/Europe trade lane, the world’s busiest. SCCT is the only container terminal in Egypt capable of working vessels of that size, and highlighting the importance of the terminal as a global and regional transhipment hub.
“The canal expansion, completed in just one year, is a great achievement for the people of Egypt, and we are hopeful that the planned construction of more infrastructure projects will enable even faster canal cargo volume growth and economic progress,” added Mr. De Best.