Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Freight Still Flowing Through Suez Canal And Egyptian Ports

Shipping Continues Despite the Turmoil on the Streets
Shipping News Feature

EGYPT – The country is winning plaudits from far and wide as the so far ‘quiet revolution’ continues and the people demand the removal from power of President Mubarak. Despite some deaths on the streets and much publicised fears of looting, plus the suspension of internet services it seems freight vessels and bulk tankers are passing freely through the Suez Canal.

Obviously the countrywide curfew between 1500 and 0800 hours is affecting business and communications and port activity is restricted, many people effectively off work until something develops with cargo in a state of suspension until the crisis passes.

The Canal however, according to eye witness reports we have received, is operating as normally as can be expected with restrictions preventing crew exchanges and the delivery of spare parts but most masters are just grateful to get through at all. Banks are closed so cash is a problem but established agents like GAC Egypt tell us they are able to provide funds for transiting the Canal using their telephone banking services.

As for insurance, speaking to the Handy Shipping Guide today Neil Smith, Head of Underwriting for Lloyds Marketing Association, the body which represents and supports Lloyds underwriters, said they were monitoring the situation closely but so far there was no need to impose special conditions and things appeared to be OK with no immediate concerns.