As the largest customer of the Suez Canal with more than 1,400 transits in 2014, the Maersk Group welcomes 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 percent 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 today 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,” Hemmingsen said.
The Suez Canal accounts for roughly 7.5 percent of world sea trade and container vessels account for over 50 percent of the canal’s tonnage passage. Maersk Line contributes with 20 percent of the container transits, and virtually all Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe cargo
goes through the canal. This includes everything from Chinese textiles and Indian Basmati Rice to German machinery
or French wine passing through the Suez 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,” Hemmingsen said.
Prior to the extension, the southbound transit took 18 hours and the northbound took 11 hours. After today’s 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,” Hemmingsen said.