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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