Location: The Suez Canal provides access between the Mediterranean and Red Seas via 123km of canal, including the Timsah and Bitter Lakes.
Total transit length is 193km and the transit time averages approx 12-16 hours, averaging 46 ships per day. The Canal runs between Port Said at the Mediterranean end and Port Tewfik at the Red Sea end. The Canal is at sea level throughout.
Navigation on the Canal is in accordance with the "Suez Canal Rules of Navigation" and the "Dangerous Cargo Appendix". Conditions further require that the ship's Tropical Load Line be apparent and in accordance with the International Load Line Convention and forward, aft and amidships draught marks be clearly marked on port and starboard sides.
Approx 17,300 vessels, 560,000,000t of cargo and 35,500,000TEU transit the Suez Canal annually.
Load line zone: Red Sea side: Tropical.
Mediterranean Sea side: Summer.
Max size: Draught 20.1m, loaded vessels of 220,000DWT.
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Vessels with beam of up to 77.5m can transit the Canal in ballast with a max draught 12.2m in good weather conditions and wind speed of not more than 10kts. Ballast vessels with a beam exceeding 74.6m require prior approval of the Suez Canal Authority to transit the Canal.
The Suez Canal Authority has decided to permit all vessels with a draught of 13.0m (42.6ft) to transit with the First Convoy South Bound through Port Said Western Waterway, whereas with the Second Convoy, according to the present regulations, the max permissible draught is 12.8m, under 45m beam and less than 90,000SCGT. Largest vessel handled: Laden 210,000DWT. Ballast 554,000 DWT.