The Shipping Industry must continue to take reasonable security measures through the Suez Canal
Shipowners and Charterers should continue to take normal precautionary security measures when transiting through the Suez Canal, said Andrew Varney, Managing Director Port2Port Maritime Security in a recent webcast discussion: “Is the Suez Canal Safe for Shipping?” with the US Journal of Commerce.
With Egypt receiving in excess of $5bn from vessels transiting the canal, and the waterway providing obvious cost savings in transit times, Andrew said that, “The security of the Suez Canal is paramount and clearly something to safeguard. The risks to transiting the canal are manifest – political instability, physical attack, or commercial uncertainty – where in places the canal is only 150m wide and 24m deep and should a vessel be disabled or sunk, it would block this vital seaway for at least two weeks.” With the brazen RPG attack on the Cosco Asia in September this year, this clearly demonstrates how susceptible vessels are to rocket and small arms fire. And with another incident occurring only recently where approximately 35 Egyptian policemen were wounded when a car blew up near their base in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, insecurity and instability remains in the region.