Suez Canal Authority extended discounts on container ships transiting through the canal until end of the year. The container ships coming from north of Port of Norfolk and heading to the ports of east from Port Kelang receive 45% discount from the normal Suez Canal tolls. The container ships traveling from ports south from Norfolk to ports east of Port Kelang get 65% discount from the normal Suez Canal tolls. Furthermore, the container ships traveling from ports south of Port of Norfolk bound for east of Port of Colombo get 55% discount from the normal tolls. All the discounts are valid until December 31, 2016.
The discount rates were initially introduced in June, in attempt to compete the Port of Panama on East-West routes. The both canals were expanded during the last months and available to operate with higher capacity.
Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez, which was made in 1869. In February 2016, the Suez Canal Authority officially opened the new side channel, allowing transition of vessels in both directions simultaneously. The Egyptian government invested billions of USD in expansion of the canal, but still suffering problems to use its full capacity.