Maersk Line to Dump Panama Canal for Suez as Ships Get Bigger
By Kyunghee Park - Mar 11, 2013 4:00 PM ET.
Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company, will stop using the Panama Canal to transport goods from Asia to the U.S. East Coast as bigger ships help the company move them profitably through Suez Canal.
Maersk Line will send through Suez Canal a vessel that can carry as many as 9,000 20-foot boxes at a time, instead of using two 4,500-box-vessels through Panama Canal, Soeren Skou, chief executive officer, said in Singapore yesterday. The last sailing through Panama will be on April 7 and the first service through Suez will be a week later, the company said in an e-mail.
“The economics are much, much better via the Suez Canal simply because you have half the number of ships,” Skou said. “One of the reasons for why this is happening now is that the cost for passing through the Panama Canal has gone up. At the end of the day, it comes down to cost.”