The number of container ships passing through the Suez Canal fell further in the first quarter of 2013, down to the lowest throughput volume in more than three years. The canal has seen year-over-year declines since the third quarter of 2011. However, the pace of the decline has decelerated for the past three quarters.
In the first quarter of 2013, 1,479 container ships passed through the Suez Canal, 106 less than during the same period in 2012, according to data from the Suez Canal Authorty. Quarter-to-quarter container ship transits also fell for a second consecutive month, down by roughly 4 percent from 1,538 ships in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The total number of all ships — including general cargo, oil tankers, LNG ships, bulk carriers, combined carriers, container ships, ro-ro, and passenger ships among others — passing through the canal in the first quarter of 2013 fell 9.6 percent to 3,929 ships from 4,347 a year ago. Ship volume has seen year-over-year declines since the second quarter of 2012. The number of ship transits fell from last quarter by 7 percent or 300 ships.