Issue 7


Interview with Aly Assem – Managing Director of East Port Said Port (SCZone)

Navigating Suez Canal and East Port Said in Today’s Agitated Waters

  • How do you evaluate the results of the ports and the Suez Canal in 2023? 

The Suez Canal experienced significant boom in Suez Canal revenues, which last year 2022/2023 witnessed an increase of about 34.7% on an annual basis to $9.4 billion, compared to $7 billion in the year 2021/2022. Compared to transit, the canal’s navigation traffic also witnessed an increase in the number of ships crossing the Suez Canal by 55.1%, reaching 25.9 thousand ships in 2022/2023, which is the highest in the canal’s history compared with 2014 / 2015.

The Egyptian government continued to invest in the development of its ports with focus on modernizing infrastructure and increasing the capacity such as the expansion of port’s capacity to reach 400 m tons / 40 m TEUs in 2030 compared with 175 m tons / 18 m TEUs now.

The Suez Canal and SCZone secured huge investments to upsurge the value add of the transiting vessels and get out of idea the Suez Canal is just a passage away from east to west by starting bunkering services and logistics centers in addition to the new channel expansion at the southern part which will add more safety and capacity.

East port said port has a great increase in volumes and vessel calls and size in 2023 as followed,

  • 4 m TEUs handled for the first time in East Port Said history with 4.8% and 5.4 % in vessels size.
  • 8.3 m Tons of General Cargo and Bulk with 37.8 % growth compared with 2022.
  • 900 vessels got bunkered with more that 600k (service started in May. 2023).
  • 2023 was a difficult year for the logistics and port sector due to a declining demand. The outbreak of the war in Gaza in October put more pressure on ports and logistics providers in the region. How is this affecting the terminals in the area? 

There is a negative impact on container vessel calls at the East port said Port,

  • Large number of mother vessels have been changing their routes so far, which has reached 25 vessels,
  • A number of feeder vessels were detected coming from West African ports
  • Expansions of Ports’ infrastructure served the huge aids volumes coming to Gaza
  • Egypt recently announced plans to increase the capacity of the Suez Canal. Can you please detail further what has been planned and the timeline of the works? 

It is expected to announce the new expansion of the Suez Canal med of 2024 which will increase the capacity and safety and reduce the idle time, SCA / SCZone have great plans to expand, attract new customers and provide new services for vessels passing through the Canal (Green fuel Bunkering).Construction of new shipyards on both sides of the canal for the service of ships passing through the canal and establishing a company to provide integrated solid and liquid waste management services

  • Egypt and the Suez Canal area have a lot of potential as providers of alternative fuels in the future. How are you preparing for this? 
  • Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) issued Green Fuel Bunkering License and announced in August 2023 first Container Vessel Methanol Bunkering operation at Port Said East Port.
  • SCZone signed more than 26 memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a green Hydrogen plants ,  including investments in clean energy generation.