Suez Canal authority plans to raise transit fees by 15% in 2023

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) intends to raise the transit tolls for vessels crossing the Suez Canal by 15% from January 2023. In a statement released over the weekend of September 17th/18th SCA chairman and managing director Osama Rabie said that fees would rise by 15% for all types of vessels except for dry bulk ships and cruise ships, which will see an increase of 10%.

Rabie said that the Canal’s flexible pricing strategy was dictated by real-time changes to the global economy. “Increased transit tolls come in light of SCA’s keeping up-to-date with all the market changes in the maritime transport which monitor the ever-increasing daily charter rates for most types of vessels that reached unprecedented levels, and the forecast for next year shows a continuation in this rise,” said Rabie.

Rabie said that determining Suez Canal transit toll rests on a number of factors, the most significant of which is the average freight rate for various types of vessels.

Rabie added that the rising energy prices and global inflation rates have had an impact on the equation of tolls calculation. These factors have increased the operational costs and costs of the navigational services provided by the canal. He made no mention of the fact that one of its potential competitors, the Northern Sea Route, had effectively been shut down by western sanctions against Russia.

The SCA expects its annual revenues to rise by $700m after the new transit fees are effected next year. In July, SCA reported record earnings of $7bn for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which was attributable to a series of transit rate hikes during the period.

The SCA has already increased the transit surcharge twice in 2022, once in February and again in March. The SCA cited growth in global trade.