Danish container shipping giant Maersk Line and French carrier CMA CGM have welcomed Thursday’s official inauguration of the expanded Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal accounts for roughly 7.5% of world sea trade and container vessels account for over 50% of the canal’s tonnage passage, according to Maersk Line.
The world’s largest container line says that with more than 1,400 transits in 2014, the company contributes with 20% of the container transits, and virtually all Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe cargo goes through the Canal.
“The extension will enable larger vessels to transit, benefitting not only the shipping companies, but also our partners and world trade as a whole,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, Maersk Group representative, who participated in the official opening of the Suez Canal along with COO of Maersk Line, Søren Toft.
CMA CGM had two of its vessels -the CMA CGM Laperouse and the CMA CGM Titan – leading the vessel procession during the inauguration.
The CMA CGM Group, the third largest container shipping company, has 11 of its main shipping lines transiting by the Suez Canal.
637 CMA CGM vessels sailed the canal in 2014. 700 container ships, with a capacity that can reach 18,000 containers each, should be transiting the Suez Canal in 2015.
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