Traffic System  in Suez Canal                                                                  

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  • Ships transit the SC in three convoys daily: ( See: Navigation Rules )

        N1 ( Southbound Convoy 1 ): From Port Said at hr 0000

        N2 ( Southbound Convoy 2 ): From Port Said at hr 0700

        S: ( Northbound Convoy ) : From Suez at hr 0600


  • The convoy system allows ships to transit the Canal at fixed speed and with fixed separating distance between every two ships.

  • The speed limit is 13 - 14 km/hr for Tankers & draft ships and 16 km/hr for other ship types .


  • The emergency stopping time between the ships in the convoys is about 10 min.

  • Vessel takes from 12 - 16 hours to transit the canal.

  • The interval between vessels in a convoy is about 10-16 minutes which is equivalent to 2-3 km distance.

  • There are 14 Pilotage Stations at the western bank of the Canal that along side with the traffic control office offer assistance for the passage of vessels.

  • Pilotage by SC pilots is compulsory for all transiting vessels. The SCA assigns four pilots for each transiting vessel; each one embarks and disembarks the vessel at a certain location as follows:

    • The first pilot boards the vessel at the northern waiting area and disembarks at the entrance of the Canal in Port-Said.

    • The second pilot boards the vessel in Port-Said and disembarks in Ismailia.

    • The Third pilot boards the vessel in Ismailia and disembarks in Suez.

    • The fourth pilot boards the vessel in Suez until it leaves the Canal into the open sea.




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            M. Khalifa

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