The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس Qanāt al-Sūwais) is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting theMediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allowstransportation by water between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ battery
The northern terminus is Port Saidand the southern terminus is Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez. Ismailia lies on its west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) from the half-way point.
When first built, the canal was 164 km (102 mi) long and 8 m (26 ft) deep. After multiple enlargements, the canal is 193.30 km (120.11 mi) long, 24 m (79 ft) deep and 205 metres (673 ft) wide as of 2010. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ battery
It consists of the northern access channel of 22 km (14 mi), the canal itself of 162.25 km (100.82 mi) and the southern access channel of 9 km (5.6 mi).
The canal is single lane with passing places in the "Ballah By-Pass" and the Great Bitter Lake. It contains nolocks; seawater flows freely through the canal. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ battery
In general, the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. The current south of the lakes changes with the tide at Suez.
The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt. Under international treaty, it may be used "in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag." Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ battery
Ancient west–east canals have facilitated travel from the Nile to the Red Sea. One smaller canal is believed to have been constructed under the auspices of either Senusret II or Ramesses II. Another canal probably incorporating a portion of the first was constructed under the reign ofNecho II and completed by Darius. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ battery
The Canal of the Pharaohs also called the Ancient Suez Canal or Necho's Canal is the forerunner of the Suez Canal, constructed in ancient times. It followed a different course than its modern counterpart, by linking the Nile to the Red Seavia the Wadi Tumilat. Work begun under the Pharaohs. According to Suez Inscriptions and Herodotus, the first opening of the canal was under Persian king Darius the Great, Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ battery
but later ancient authors like Aristotle, Strabo, and Pliny the Elder claim that he failed to complete the work. Other possibility is that it was finished in the Ptolemaic period underPtolemy II, when Greek engineers solved the problem of overcoming the difference in height through canal locks.
Probably first cut or at least begun by Necho II, in the late 6th century BC, Darius the Great either re-dug or completed it. Sony VAIO VPCF127FJ/W battery
Exactly when it was finally completed is not known as the classical sources disagree.
At least as far back as Aristotle there have been suggestions that perhaps as early as the 12th Dynasty, Pharaoh Senusret III (1878 BC–1839 BC), also called Sesostris, may have started a canal joining the River Nile with the Red Sea. In his Meteorology, Aristotle wrote: Sony VAIO VPCF128FJ/B battery
One of their kings tried to make a canal to it (for it would have been of no little advantage to them for the whole region to have become navigable; Sesostris is said to have been the first of the ancient kings to try), but he found that the sea was higher than the land. So he first, and Darius afterwards, stopped making the canal, lest the sea should mix with the river water and spoil it. Sony VAIO VPCF129FJ/BI battery
Strabo also wrote that Sesostris started to build a canal, and Pliny the Elder wrote:
165. Next comes the Tyro tribe and, on the Red Sea, the harbour of the Daneoi, from which Sesostris, king of Egypt, intended to carry a ship-canal to where the Nile flows into what is known as the Delta; this is a distance of over 60 miles. Sony VAIO VPCF12AFJ battery
Later the Persian king Darius had the same idea, and yet again Ptolemy II, who made a trench 100 feet wide, 30 feet deep and about 35 miles long, as far as the Bitter Lakes.
Although Herodotus (2.158) tells us Darius I continued work on the canal, Aristotle (Aristot. met. I 14 P 352b.), Strabo (Strab. XVII 1, 25 C 804. 805.), andPliny the Elder (Plin. n. h. VI 165f.) all say that he failed to complete it, Sony VAIO VPCF12AGJ battery
while Diodorus Siculus does not mention a completion of the canal by Necho II. Pliny the Elder also says that Ptolemy II, who took up the work again, also stopped because of the differences of water level. Diodorus, however, reports that it was completed by Ptolemy II after being fitted with a lock.
Ptolemy II was the first to solve the problem of keeping the Nile free of salt water when his engineers invented the water lock around 274/273 BC. Sony VAIO VPCF12AHJ battery
In the 2nd century AD, Ptolemy the Astronomer mentions a "River of Trajan", a Roman canal running from the Nile to the Red Sea.
A stela (one of four commemorating the construction of a canal linking the Nile with the Red Sea by Darius I) was located at the Wadi Tumilat and probably recorded sections of Darius's canal. Sony VAIO VPCF135FG battery
Islamic texts also discuss the canal, which they say had been silted up by the seventh century but reopened in 641 or 642 AD by 'Amr ibn al-'As, the conqueror of Egypt and was in use until closed in 767 AD in order to stop supplies reaching Mecca and Medina which were in rebellion.
Thereafter, the land routes to tranship camel caravans' goods were from Alexandria to ports on the Red Sea or the northern Byzantine silk route through theCaucasian Mountains transhipping on the Caspian Sea and thence to India. Sony VAIO VPCF138FC/BI battery
The legendary Sesostris (likely either Pharaoh Senusret II or Senusret III of the Twelfth dynasty of Egypt) is suggested to have perhaps started work on an ancient canal joining the River Nile with the Red Sea (1897 BC–1839 BC). (It is said that in ancient times the Red Sea reached northward to the Bitter Lakes and Lake Timsah.
One of their kings tried to make a canal to it (for it would have been of no little advantage to them for the whole region to have become navigable; Sony VAIO VPCF138FJ/B battery
Sesostris is said to have been the first of the ancient kings to try), but he found that the sea was higher than the land. So he first, and Dariusafterwards, stopped making the canal, lest the sea should mix with the river water and spoil it.
Remnants of an ancient west–east canal, running through the ancient Egyptian cities of Bubastis, Sony VAIO VPCF139FJ/BI battery
Pi-Ramesses, and Pithom were discovered by Napoleon Bonaparteand his cadre of engineers and cartographers in 1799.According to the Histories of the Greek historian Herodotus, about 600 BC, Necho II undertook to dig a west–east canal through the Wadi Tumilat between Bubastis and Heroopolis, and perhaps continued it to the Heroopolite Gulf and the Red Sea. Sony VAIO VPCF13AFJ battery
Regardless, Necho is reported as having never completed his project.
Herodotus was told that 120,000 men perished in this undertaking, but this figure is doubtlessly exaggerated. According to Pliny the Elder, Necho's extension to the canal was approximately 57 English miles, equal to the total distance between Bubastis and the Great Bitter Lake, allowing for winding through valleysthat it had to pass through. Sony VAIO VPCF13AGJ battery
The length that Herodotus tells us, of over 1000 stadia (i.e., over 114 miles), must be understood to include the entire distance between the Nile and the Red Sea at that time.
With Necho's death, work was discontinued. Herodotus tells us that the reason the project was abandoned was because of a warning received from an oracle that others would benefit by its successful completion. Sony VAIO VPCF13AHJ battery
In fact, Necho's war with Nebuchadnezzar II most probably prevented the canal's continuation.
Necho's project was finally completed by Darius I of Persia, who conquered Ancient Egypt. We are told that by Darius's time a natural waterway passage which had existed between the Heroopolite Gulf and the Red Sea in the vicinity of the Egyptian town of Shaluf (alt. Chalouf or Shaloof), Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
located just south of the Great Bitter Lake, had become so blocked with silt that Darius needed to clear it out so as to allow navigation once again. According to Herodotus, Darius's canal was wide enough that two triremes could pass each other with oars extended, and required four days to traverse. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
Darius commemorated his achievement with a number of granite stelae that he set up on the Nile bank, including one near Kabret, and a further one a few miles north of Suez.
The Red Sea is believed by some historians to have gradually receded over the centuries, its coastline slowly moving farther and farther southward away fromLake Timsah and the Great Bitter Lake to its present coastline today. Sony VAIO VPCF13ZHJ battery
Coupled with persistent accumulations of Nile silt, maintenance and repair of Ptolemy's canal became increasingly cumbersome over each passing century.
Two hundred years after the construction of Ptolemy's canal, Cleopatra seems to have had no west–east waterway passage, because the Pelusiac branch of the Nile River, which had fed Ptolemy's west–east canal, had by that time dwindled, being choked with silt. Sony VAIO VPCF148FJ/B battery
By the 8th century, a navigable canal existed between Old Cairo and the Red Sea, but accounts vary as to who ordered its construction—either Trajan or'Amr ibn al-'As, or Omar the Great. This canal reportedly linked to the River Nile at Old Cairo and ended near modern Suez. A geography treatise by Dicuil reports a conversation with an English monk, Sony VAIO VPCF149FJ/BI battery
Fidelis, who had sailed on the canal from the Nile to the Red Sea during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the first half of the 8th century 
The Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur is said to have ordered this canal closed in 767 to prevent supplies from reaching Arabian detractors.
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah is claimed to have repaired the Old Cairo to Red Sea passageway, Sony VAIO VPCF14AFJ battery
but only briefly, circa 1000 AD, as it soon "became choked with sand." However, we are told that parts of this canal still continued to fill in during the Nile's annual inundations.
Napoleon Bonaparte's interest in finding the remnants of an ancient waterway passage culminated in a cadre of archaeologists, scientists, cartographers andengineers scouring the area beginning in the latter months of 1798. Sony VAIO VPCF14AGJ battery
Their findings, recorded in the Description de l'Égypte, include detailed maps that depict the discovery of an ancient canal extending northward from the Red Sea and then westward toward the Nile.
Napoleon had contemplated the construction of another, modern, north–south canal to join the Mediterranean and Red Sea. Sony VAIO VPCF14AHJ battery
But his project was abandoned after the preliminary survey erroneously concluded that the Red Sea was 10 metres (33 ft) higher than the Mediterranean, making a locks-based canal too expensive and very long to construct. The Napoleonic survey commission's error came from fragmented readings mostly done during wartime, which resulted in imprecise calculations. Sony VAIO VPCF14ZHJ battery
Though by this time unnavigable, the ancient route from Bubastis to the Red Sea still channeled water in spots as late as 1861 and as far east as Kassassin.
Although the alleged difference in sea levels could be problematic for a canal's construction, the idea of finding a shorter route to the east remained alive. In 1830, F. R. Chesney submitted a report to the British government, Sony VAIO VPCF217HG battery
which stated that there was no difference in altitude, and that the Suez Canal was feasible, but his report received no further attention.Lieutenant Waghorn established his 'Overland Route', which transported post and passengers to India via Egypt. Linant de Bellefonds, a French explorer of Egypt, became chief engineer of Egypt's Public Works. In addition to his normal duties, Sony VAIO VPCF217HG/BI battery
he surveyed the Isthmus of Suez and made plans for the Suez Canal. French Saint-Simonianists showed an interest in the canal and in 1833, Barthélemy Prosper Enfantin tried to draw Muhammad Ali's attention to the canal but was unsuccessful. Alois Negrelli, the Austrian railroad pioneer, became interested in the idea in 1836. Sony VAIO VPCF217FG battery
In 1846, Prosper Enfantin's Société d'Études du Canal de Suez invited a number of experts, among them Robert Stephenson, Negrelli and Paul-Adrien Bourdaloue to study the feasibility of the Suez Canal (with the assistance of Linant de Bellefonds). Bourdaloue's survey of the isthmus was the first generally accepted evidence that there was no practical difference in altitude between the two seas. Sony VAIO VPCF217FG/BI battery
Britain, however, feared that a canal open to everyone might interfere with its India trade and, therefore, preferred a connection by train from Alexandria via Cairo to Suez, which eventually was built by Stephenson.
In 1854 and 1856 Ferdinand de Lesseps obtained a concession from Sa'id Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, to create a company to construct a canal open to ships of all nations. Sony VAIO VPCF219FJ/BI battery
The company was to operate the canal for 99 years from its opening. De Lesseps had used his friendly relationship with Sa'id, which he had developed while he was a French diplomat during the 1830s. As stipulated in the concessions, de Lesseps convened the International Commission for the piercing of the isthmus of Suez (Commission Internationale pour le percement de l'isthme des Suez) Sony VAIO VPCF21AFJ battery
consisting of thirteen experts from seven countries, among them John Robinson McClean, later to become President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, and again Negrelli, to examine the plans of Linant de Bellefonds and to advise on the feasibility of and on the best route for the canal. After surveys and analyses in Egypt and discussions in Paris on various aspects of the canal, where many of Negrelli's ideas prevailed, Sony VAIO VPCF21AGJ battery
the commission produced a final unanimous report in December 1856 containing a detailed description of the canal complete with plans and profiles. The Suez Canal Company (Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez) came into being on 15 December 1858 and work started on the shore of the future Port Said on 25 April 1859. Sony VAIO VPCF21AHJ battery
The excavation took some 10 years using forced labour (corvée) of Egyptian workers during a certain period. Some sources estimate that over 30,000 people were working on the canal at any given period, that altogether more than 1.5 million people from various countries were employed, and that thousands of laborers died on the project. Sony VAIO VPCF21Z1E/BI battery
The British government had opposed the project of the canal from the outset to its completion. As one of the diplomatic moves against the canal, it disapproved the use of "slave labor" of forced workers on the canal. The British Empire was the major global naval force and officially condemned the forced work and sent armed Bedouins to start a revolt among workers. Sony VAIO VPCF21ZHJ battery
Involuntary labour on the project ceased, and the viceroy condemned the corvée, halting the project.
Angered by the British opportunism, de Lesseps sent a letter to the British government remarking on the British lack of remorse a few years earlier when forced workers died in similar conditions building the British railway in Egypt. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B battery
Initially international opinion was sceptical and Suez Canal Company shares did not sell well overseas. Britain, the United States, Austria, and Russia did not buy any significant number of shares. All French shares were quickly sold in France. A contemporary British sceptic claimed:
One thing is sure... our local merchant community doesn't pay practical attention at all to this grand work, Sony VAIO VPCF116FG/BI battery
and it is legitimate to doubt that the canal's receipts... could ever be sufficient to recover its maintenance fee. It will never become a large ship's accessible way in any case.
The canal opened to shipping on 17 November 1869. Although numerous technical, political, and financial problems had been overcome, the final cost was more than double the original estimate. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI battery
The opening was performed by Khedive Ismail of Egypt and Sudan, and at Ismail's invitation French Empress Eugenie in the Imperial yacht Aigle, piloted by Napoléon Coste who was bestowed by the Khedive the Order of the Medjidie (Blue Flame of Service c 1955). The first ship to follow the yacht Aiglethrough the canal was the British P&O liner Delta. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC battery
Although L'Aigle was officially the first vessel to pass through the canal that honor should really go to HMS Newport captained by George Nares who would in 1870 captain HMS Challenger on her four year long, 80,000 mile, voyage of discovery. On the night before the canal was due to open Captain Nares navigated his vessel, in total darkness and without lights, Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI battery
through the mass of waiting ships until it was in front of L'Aigle. When dawn broke the French were horrified to find that the British Royal Navy were now first in line and that it would be impossible to pass them. Captain Nares received both an official reprimand and an unofficial vote of thanks from the Admiralty for his actions in promoting British interests and for demonstrating such superb seamanship.Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ battery
After the opening of the canal, the Suez Canal Company was in financial difficulties. The remaining works were completed only in 1871, and traffic was below expectations in the first two years. De Lesseps therefore tried to increase revenues by interpreting the kind of net ton referred to in the second concession (tonneau de capacité) Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B battery
as meaning a ship's real freight capacity and not only the theoretical net tonnage of the "Moorsom System" introduced in Britain by the Merchant Shipping Act in 1854. The ensuing commercial and diplomatic activities resulted in the International Commission of Constantinople establishing a specific kind of net tonnage and settling the question of tariffs in their protocol of 18 December 1873. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E battery
This was the origin of the Suez Canal Net Tonnage and the Suez Canal Special Tonnage Certificate still used today.
The canal had an immediate and dramatic effect on world trade. Combined with the American transcontinental railroad completed six months earlier, it allowed the entire world to be circled in record time. It played an important role in increasingEuropean colonisation of Africa. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
The construction of the Suez Canal was one of the reasons for the Panic of 1873, because the goods from the Far East were carried in sailing vessels around the Cape of Good Hope and were stored in British warehouses, but sailing vessels were not adaptable for use through the Suez Canal, because the prevailing winds of the Mediterranean Sea blow from west to east. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E battery
External debts forced Said Pasha's successor, Isma'il Pasha, to sell his country's share in the canal for £4,000,000 to the United Kingdom in 1875, but French shareholders still held the majority. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was accused by William Ewart Gladstone of undermining Britain's constitutional system, because he had not referred to, or obtained consent from, Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E battery
Parliament when purchasing the shares with funding from the Rothschilds.
The Convention of Constantinople in 1888 declared the canal a neutral zone under the protection of the British, who had occupied Egypt and Sudan at the request of Khedive Tewfiq to suppress the Urabi Revolt against his rule. Sony VAIO VPCF127HG/BI battery
They were later to defend the strategically important passage against a major Ottoman attack in 1915, during the First World War. Under theAnglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, the United Kingdom insisted on retaining control over the canal. In 1951 Egypt repudiated the treaty, and in 1954 the UK agreed to remove its troops. Withdrawal was completed on 18 July 1956. Sony VAIO VPCF135FG/B battery
Because of Egyptian overtures towards the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States withdrew their pledge to support the construction of the Aswan Dam. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser responded by nationalizing the canal in 1956 and transferring it to the Suez Canal Authority, intending to finance the dam project using revenue from the canal. Sony VAIO VPCF136FG/BI battery
This led up to the Suez Crisis, known in theArab World as the "Tripartite Aggression", in which the UK, France, and Israel invaded Egypt. According to the pre-agreed war plans under the Protocol of Sèvres, the Israelis invaded Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, forcing Egypt to engage them militarily, and allowing the Anglo-French partnership to declare the resultant fighting a threat to the canal and enter the war on Israel's side. Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI battery
To save the British from what he thought was a disastrous action, and to stop the war from a possible escalation, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, proposed the creation of the first United Nations peacekeeping force to ensure access to the canal for all, and an Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai. Sony VAIO VPCF135Z1E/B battery
On 4 November 1956, a majority of nations at the United Nations voted for Pearson's peacekeeping resolution, which mandated the UN peacekeepers to stay in Sinai unless both Egypt and Israel agreed to their withdrawal. The United States backed this proposal by putting pressure on the British government through the selling of sterling, which would cause it to depreciate. Sony VAIO VPCM125AGP battery
Britain then agreed to withdraw its troops. Pearson was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As a result of damage and ships intentionally sunk under orders from Nasser the canal was closed until April 1957, when it was cleared with UN assistance. A UN force (UNEF) was established to maintain the free navigability of the canal, and peace in the Sinai Peninsula. Sony VAIO VPCM128JC/L battery
In May 1967 President Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered the UN peacekeeping forces out of Sinai, including the Suez Canal area. Israel objected to the closing of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. The canal itself had been closed to Israeli shipping since 1949, except for a short period in 1951–1952.
After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, called the Six Day War, the canal was closed by an Egyptian blockade until 5 June 1975. Sony VAIO VPCM128JC/P battery
As a result, fourteen cargo ships known as "The Yellow Fleet" remained trapped in the canal for over eight years.
In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, the canal was the scene of a major crossing by the Egyptian army into Israeli-occupied Sinai, and in the later stage of the war, a counter-crossing by the Israeli army to African Egypt. Sony VAIO VPCM129AJ/L battery
Much wreckage from this conflict remains visible along the canal's edges. After the Yom Kippur War the United States initiatedOperation Nimbus Moon. The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima was sent to the Canal, carrying twelve RH-53D minesweepinghelicopters of HM-12. These partly cleared the Suez Canal between May and December 1974. Sony VAIO VPCM129AJ/P battery
She was relieved by the LST USSBarnstable County (LST1197). The British Royal Navy initiated Operation Rheostat and Task Group 65.2 provided the MinehuntersHMS Maxton, HMS Bossington and HMS Wilton, and HMS Abdiel, a practice minelayer/MCMV support ship that spent two periods of 6 months in 1974 and in 1975 based at Ismailia. Sony VAIO VPCM129AJ/W battery
When the Canal Clearance Operations were completed, the Suez Canal and its lakes were considered 99% clear of mines. The Canal was then reopened by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat aboard an Egyptian destroyer which led the first convoy Northbound to Port Said in 1975.
The UNEF mandate expired in 1979. Despite the efforts of the United States, Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
Israel, Egypt, and others to obtain an extension of the UN role in observing the peace between Israel and Egypt, as called for under the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty of 1979, the mandate could not be extended because of the veto by the USSR in the security council, at the request of Syria. Accordingly, negotiations for a new observer force in the Sinai produced the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/P battery
stationed in Sinai in 1981 in coordination with a phased Israeli withdrawal. It is there under agreements between the United States, Israel, Egypt, and other nations.
The canal allows passage of ships up to 20 m (66 ft) draft or 240,000 deadweight tons and up to a maximum height of 68 m (223 ft) above water level and a maximum beam of 77.5 m (254 ft) under certain conditions. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
The Suez Canal can handle more ship traffic and larger ships than thePanama Canal. Some supertankers are too large to traverse the canal. Others can offload part of their cargo onto a canal-owned boat to reduce their draft, transit, and reload at the other end of the canal.
The canal is too small for free two lane traffic. Therefor the ships pass in convoys, and they use bypasses. The by-passes are over a total of 78 km (48 mi) out of 193 km (120 mi) (40%).Sony VAIO VPCM125AG/L battery
From North to South, they are: Port Said by-pass (entrances) 36.5 km (23 mi), Ballah by-pass & anchorage, 9 km (6 mi), Timsah by-pass 5 km (3 mi), and the Deversoir by-pass (North ern end of the Great Bitter Lake) 27.5 km (17 mi). The by-passes were completed in 1980.
Typically, it takes a ship from 12 to 16 hours to transit the canal. In 24 hours the canal can pass about 76 standard ships. Sony VAIO VPCM125AG/P battery
Suezmax is a naval architecture term for the largest ship measurements capable of transiting the Suez Canal in a laden condition, and is almost exclusively used in reference to tankers. Since the canal has no locks, the only serious limiting factors are draft (maximum depth below waterline), and height due to the Suez Canal Bridge. Sony VAIO VPCM125AG/W battery
The current channel depth of the canal allows for a maximum of 20.1 m (66 ft) of draft, meaning a few fully ladensupertankers are too deep to fit through, and either have to unload part of their cargo to other ships ("transhipment") or to a pipeline terminal before passing through, or alternatively avoid the Suez Canal and travel around Cape Agulhas instead. The canal was deepened in 2009 from 18 to 20 m (60 to 66 ft). Sony VAIO VPCM125JC/W battery
The typical deadweight of a Suezmax ship is about 160,000 tons and typically has a beam (width) of 50 m (164.0 ft). Also of note is the maximum head room—"air draft"—limitation of 68 m (223.1 ft), resulting from the 70 m (230 ft) height above water of the Suez Canal Bridge. Suez Canal Authority produces tables of width and acceptable draft, which are subject to change. Sony VAIO VPCM126AA/L battery
From 2010 the wetted surface cross sectional area of the ship is limited by 1006 m2, which means 20.1 m (66 ft) of draught for ships with the beam no wider than 50.0 m (164.0 ft) or 12.2 m (40 ft) of draught for ships with maximum allowed beam of 77.5 m (254 ft 3 in).
Similar terms of Panamax, Malaccamax and Seawaymax are used for the largest ships capable of fitting through thePanama Canal, the Strait of Malacca and Saint Lawrence Seaway, respectively. Sony VAIO VPCM126AA/P battery
Aframax tankers are those with a capacity of 80,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) to 120,000 DWT. The term "Chinamax" refers to vessels able to use a number of harbours while fully laden. "Capesize" refers to bulk carriers too big to pass through the Suez Canal - and needing to go around the Cape of Good Hope - but recent dredging means many Capesize vessels can use the canal. Sony VAIO VPCM126AA/W battery
Plans to deepen the draft to 70 ft could lead to a redefinition of the Suezmax specification, as happened to the Panamax specification after deepening and widening of the Panama Canal.
The canal has no locks because of the flat terrain, and the minor sea level difference between each end is inconsequential for shipping. Sony VAIO VPCM126AG/L battery
The canal has no sea surge gates so that both entrances/exits ports are subject to the sudden impact of tsunamis from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea, according to a 2012 article in the Journal of Coastal Research.
There is one shipping lane with passing areas in Ballah-Bypass near El Qantara and in the Great Bitter Lake. On a typical day, three convoys transit the canal, two southbound and one northbound. Sony VAIO VPCM126AG/P battery
The passage takes between 11 and 16 hours at a speed of around 8 knots (15 km/h; 9 mph). The low speed helps prevent erosion of the canal banks by ships' wakes.
By 1955 approximately two-thirds of Europe's oil passed through the canal. About 7.5% of world sea trade is carried via the canal today. Sony VAIO VPCM126AG/W battery
In 2008, a total of 21,415 vessels passed through the canal and the receipts from the canal totaled $5.381 billion, with the average cost per-ship at roughly $251,000.
New Rules of Navigation that constitute an improvement over the older ones, which came into force as of 1 January 2008, were passed by the board of directors of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to organise vessels' and tankers' transit. Sony VAIO VPCM126AH/L battery
The most important amendments to the Rules include allowing vessels with 62-foot (19 m) draught to pass, and increasing the allowed breadth from 32 metres (105 ft) up to 40 metres (130 ft) following improvement operations, as well as imposing a fine on vessels using divers from outside the SCA inside the canal boundaries without permission. Sony VAIO VPCM126AH/P battery
The amendments also allow vessels loaded with dangerous cargo (such as radioactive or inflammable materials) to pass, if they conform with the latest amendments provided by international conventions.
The SCA also has the right to determine the number of tugs required to assist warships traversing the canal, to achieve the highest degree of safety during transit. Sony VAIO VPCM126AH/W battery
Since the canal does not allow free two-way traffic, all ships transit in convoy formations on regular times. They are scheduled on a 24 hour scheme. Each day a single Northbound convoy starts at 06.00 h from Suez. This convoy gets an unhindered passage. At by-passes, it uses the Eastern route. Interwoven in this convoy's Northbound traveling, are two Southbound convoys. Sony VPCCA15FA/B battery