A spot of good marketing
Attracting more shipping traffic to the Suez Canal needs “flexible marketing policies,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The president suggested the canal needs to integrate services that would attract more vessels to help it better cope with the economic effects of covid-19. The canal weathered the pandemic storm fairly well, with revenues falling just 3% y-o-y in 2020, while recording its second-highest annual net tonnage. Bloomberg also had the story.
There are already incentives — and they’ve paid off so far: The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) had introduced a number of incentives to attract ships to the canal in 2020, including reductions on transit fees between 30-75% for LNG, LPG, and oil carriers, as well as fixed transit fees at the previous year’s prices for all ships in 2021. These policies were key in protecting the canal’s shipping volumes and revenues during the pandemic, SCA boss Osama Rabie said. The canal has been beating out the Panama Canal as the preferred shipping route for US LNG carriers heading to East Asia and looking to avoid congestion.