Egypt News: Government Raises Suez Canal Fees By 5%

In a desperation move, Egypt has raised its rate to travel across the Suez Canal. This has been done in the past, as recent as 2012, tolls were raised by 3% for all ships that passed through the canal. At this time, the Morsi government decided that it needed to increase toll rates again, in order to gain more revenue. This waterway is one of the main sources of travel around the world, raking in around $5 billion a year, even in the face of societal chaos and distress.

This change has taken effect starting on Tuesday at 12 a.m. The highest 5% increase in the rate will apply to carriers transporting oil or other petroleum products. Bulk carriers will also be faced with the five percent raise on toll. Container ships face a rise of about 2%, the lowest raise in fees. While car transporters and other will have a 3% increase on their toll fees. The Suez Canal accounts for a major portion of Egypt’s GDP, along with tourism and other industries.

This increase in price will have a global impact as well. The canal is the quickest sea route connecting Asia and Europe. Nearly fifty ships pass through the busy waterway daily, making it a hub of international trade transit. It supports 8% of the world’s shipping traffic as well, a number that demonstrates its geographical importance.

This past March, Egypt was able to garner 398.5 million in revenues from Suez Canal. With its distinct importance globally and lucrative returns, it is an easy target to manipulate in the face of economic strife.

The Morsi government made this decision under internal pressure as the country’s foreign currency reserves began to shrink. Morsi’s future hinges on the success of his economic policies, as Egyptians are continuing to call for economic change.

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Shimon Moshehai

Shimon is a recent college graduate with a bachelors degree in Political Science from UCLA. His research interests are Middle East Politics, Religion, and International Relations.

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