Inspenet, December 12, 2023.
The limitations in the Panama Canal Due to the drought, they have caused changes in the navigation routes of ships moving from the east coast of Asia to North America, directing them towards the routes of the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. “Multiple shipping lines have revealed changes to transits eliminating the Panama Canal, indicating a continued loss of confidence in the passage in the coming weeks“said the operations and forecasts analyst of eeSea, Destine Ozuygur.
Despite anticipations of a possible increase in the number of ships crossing the Suez Canal, these prospects have been affected due to recent attacks by Houthi rebels against commercial shipping near the coast of Yemen. In the most recent incident, an OOCL ship was the target of a drone attack, with insurgents claiming responsibility for the same.
“It appears that many ships that had originally planned to use a divergent route through the Suez Canal are now avoiding the area for fear for the safety of their crew and ships.“Ozuygur said, adding that the conflict could significantly reduce traffic through both channels.”For the first time in recent history, there may be a significant decrease in transit through the Suez and Panama canals, as a large number of ships prefer to transit the Cape of Good Hope”, indicated the analyst.
“These detours are occurring on both outbound and return trips. Before the recent attacks on commercial ships, we were mainly seeing diversions through Suez on the return voyages of ships on the trade and transpacific route. The Cape of Good Hope can now expect an increase in ship traffic traversing both the trans-Pacific route and the Asia-Europe route in both directions“he declared.
Cape of Good Hope: Will it become the new Panama Canal?
According to the assessments of eeSea analysts, 12 ships that are part of The Alliance’s EC1 service are expected to alter their usual routes in the next week. Three of them have been confirmed to be heading towards the Cape, based on their trajectory and position data. “The rest, for now, continue to announce Suez in their travel itineraries, but the situation is evolving and we hope that the change will occur soon“Ozuygur declared.”For now the service does not make explicit reference to the Cape, but it does show direct routes between Manzanillo and Busan, the only possible route is through the Horn of Africa“.
Recently, data provided by eeSea revealed the presence of a line of seven ships waiting to cross the Panama Canal, with one in the process of transit and another 15 anchored in nearby port areas.
Regarding the Suez Canal, seven vessels waiting and two in transit were identified, while it was confirmed that 21 vessels will arrive at the Cape of Good Hope in the next week. But ” we expect this figure to increase as we complete more detours in the coming weeks ,” he added.
A positive outlook for shipping companies is that increasing sailing distance could partly help offset the overcapacity they are dealing with, as well as providing the opportunity to implement various surcharges, which could alleviate extremely low rates. available on the market.
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