Middle EastOperationsTankers

Suez Canal slashes tolls in half for laden VLCCs heading from Europe to Asia

With tanker rates looking dire for the winter and beyond, the Suez Canal Authority has taken the decision to slash tolls for laden VLCCs heading from Europe to Asia in half in a bid to avoid operators taking the slower, but cheaper Cape of Good Hope route around the southern tip of Africa.

Laden VLCCs from Europe heading to Asia can avail themselves of a 48% discount when transiting the Egyptian canal, an offer that is set to run from the start of next month through to the end of May next year.

Management at the Suez Canal has become far more tactical and flexible in recent years in how it reacts to individual shipping segments going through their own cycles. For instance, when container lines started taking the Cape route earlier this year to soak up tonnage during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, the canal authority swiftly responded with a toll cut.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. This is a very misleading and meaningless non-event as VLCCs do not transit the Suez southbound even in a part laden condition!
    The SuMed pipeline that permits VLCCs to partially off-load at Ain Sukhna, transit part laden and reload at Sidi Kerir only pumps oil Northbound not Southbound.

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