First ships transit New Suez Canal
Egypt has completed the first trial through the New Suez Canal (which will be formally inaugurated on the 6th August) which will allow two-way traffic of larger ships, reports Reuters. The new waterway will be able to accommodate vessels with a draft of up to 66 feet. The transit time will be cut from 18 hours to 11 hours for the southbound convoy while the waiting time is expected to be reduced to 3 hours at most instead of 8-11 hours. The Suez Canal Authority has estimated the daily average of transiting vessels will rise to 97 ships by 2023, up from 49 ships at present. The Suez Canal Authority has also announced that construction of another canal near Port Said on the Mediterranean will begin as soon as the New Suez Canal has been inaugurated. This canal is expected to be 9.5km (6 miles) long, 18.5m deep and 250m wide and will take around 7 months to build.