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Egyptian ports and terminals closed; Suez Canal unaffected

  • Egyptian ports and terminals have ceased operating

  • Suez Canal is operating as normal

Ports and terminals across Egypts were forced to close yesterday as the political unrest continues to disrupt trade and industry.

The Suez Canal remains unaffected, as we reported yesterday. It remains unclear when ports in Egypt will operate as normal.

“Everything has been suspended except the Suez Canal,”  said Medhat El Kady, general secretary of the Egyptian International Freight Forwarding Association. “Nobody knows when everything will be back to normal”.

A.P. Moller-Maersk has ceased operations at Suez Canal Container Terminal in Port Said, although a skeleton crew is still manning the reefer containers and IT systems at the terminal. The company has also closed the offices of its Maersk Line, Safmarine and Damco subsidiaries in Egypt.

DP World has suspended operations at the Port of Ain Sukhna, 75 miles outside Cairo.

South Korean container shipper Hanjin Shipping has re-routed some of its container ships away from the country, due lack of labor and IT systems at Port Said in Suez and Alexandria, the JOC reports.

The closure of the ports within the North African country could have dire consequences for the Egyptian people, as the longer the suspension is in place the greater the risk of key commodity shortages.

Traders however, don't expect the closures to last for long, yet with the political turmoil continuing into its eighth day concerns are obviously rising in Egypt, according to the Wall Street Journal Europe.

Traders are “thinking that these ports are going to be open pretty soon again, and that'll allow shipments into the country,” said Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions, a South Dakota-based commodities brokerage.

As imports to Egypt ended Monday most container ships were discharging at neighbouring Mediterranean Ports. The ports within Egypt however had no option but to close as violence continued in the country and port staff were restricted to their homes as they obeyed the national curfew.

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