With an eye to recent political upheaval in Egypt, the latest edition of Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly
contains a detailed analysis of what might happen to the container shipping industry if the Suez Canal closed.
“If the Suez Canal were to be suddenly closed tomorrow, container vessel schedules between Asia and Europe would be immediately adjusted to minimize delays by increasing round-trip speed to an average of approximately 22 knots. The disruption would, in most cases, not be very painful," Drewry said.
But it notes “Ocean carriers would seek to impose a massive fuel surcharge for this, however. Even if existing speeds were to be maintained after the initial panic was over, extra vessels would be required to maintain a weekly frequency. These would have to be withdrawn from other trade lanes, forcing the speeds of their remaining vessels on the routes to be increased.”