suez canal

Suez Canal – Case Study


  1. Overview – Suez Canal   

Suez Canal is an artificial man-made sea-level waterway. This canal is situated in Egypt.

This canal joins the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and separating Africa and Asia. It is also a part of the silk road that is used to connect Europe to Asia.

In 1854, Ferdinand de Lesseps, the former French consul to Cairo, made an agreement with the Ottoman governor of Egypt to construct a canal of 100 miles across the Isthmus of Suez.

The construction of this canal ran from 1859 to 1869 and was made under the regional authority of the Ottoman Empire.

When this canal was newly built it was 164 km long and 8 m deep. After many times of enlargements, it is currently 193.30 km long, 24 m deep and 205 meters wide.

It consists of the northern access channel of 22 km, the canal itself of 162.25 km, and the southern access channel of 9 km.

The construction of the Suez Canal cost $100 million which was more than double the original estimate.


suez canal


NameSuez Canal (قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ‎, Qanātu s-Suways)
Length193.30 km
Construction cost$100 million
Constructor The Universal Company
 Construction started25 September 1859
 Construction Ended17 November 1869
OwnerSuez Canal Authority
 Suez Port
Start pointPort Said
Navigation authoritySuez Canal Authority
Location Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt
Maximum boat beam77.5 m (254 ft 3 in)
Minimum boat draft20.1 m (66 ft)
Minimum boat air draft68 m (223 ft)
Earning5.61 billion USD / year  ( 2020 Report)


  2. History – Controller of Suez Canal  

On 25th August 1882, the United Kingdom occupied Egypt. The canal was under the handle of the privately owned Suez Canal Company.

On 14 November 1936, obeying a new treaty, Britain went out of Egypt but still made the Suez Canal Zone under its control.

On 13 June 1956, the Suez Canal Zone was again got controlled by Egyptian sovereignty, following British departure and years of settlement.

From 31 October 1956 to 24 April 1957, the canal was stopped shipping following the Suez Crisis; a dispute that guided to an Israeli, French, and British occupation of the canal zone.

On 22 December 1956, the canal zone was got to Egyptian control, following French and British removal, and the landing of UNEF soldiers.


  3. Problems During Construction of Suez Canal  

a. During the construction of the Suez Canal, many difficulties were faced such as a straight connection between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was taken as impossible over concerns that they lie at distinct levels of altitude.

b. Ten thousand slave laborers were due found dead due to chlorella and other causes.

c. Few times many sharks were found in the Suez Canal during fishing which made laborers ran away.

d. The excavation work took 10 years, and an estimated 1.5 million people worked on the project. Unfortunately due above problems the cost for construction reached $100 million which was more than double the estimated cost.


  4. Suez Canal – Blockage  

Many times Suez Canal has been ship blockage due to human error and improper management of water transportation. Suez Canal has been five times blocked.

The Suez Canal got blocked for the first time in 1956 after a British-French-Israeli invasion.

Next, Suez Canal got blockage when Egypt enters a war with Israel and the canal is blocked for eight years.

In 2006, a boat got stuck in the waterway and caused the blockage of the canal.

On March 23, 2021, the Suez Canal was blocked for six days after the grounding of Ever Given, a 20,000 TEU container ship.

suez canal

The Suez Canal crisis cost $400 million per hour or $6.7 million per minute in delayed goods according to Lloyd’s List estimated.
The 1300-foot Ever Given moved aground in the Suez Canal on March 23. It totally blocked the width of the waterway, creating a global shipping traffic jam with vessels hooked on two sides of the waterway as they waited for it to be opened. Other ships rerouted around the canal.

The government didn’t excavate a second lane along the southern segment of the canal during the enlargement because it would need huge money for the surplus investment, according to Mr. Darwish, the Ex-head of the Suez Canal economic zone.

Dohnalek said that in order to neglect another Suez Canal-type crisis, “ Every company needs to have multiple sourcing options in place, as we learned during the pandemic.”


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