By linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal has acted as a major waterway for international travel between Europe and Africa. For many companies that engage in shipping between these two continents, as well as shipping between Europe and Indian Ocean nations like Australia and New Zealand, the Suez Canal is usually the main passage of travel. If your company falls into this category, then perhaps you have noticed a surcharge on a past freight bill entitled the Suez Canal Surcharge, or SCS. This surcharge is applied to any cargo that is transported through the Suez Canal.
The exact amount of the Suez Canal Surcharge can vary on the carrier, the time of the year and even the tonnage. The Suez Canal Surcharge can be applied to ships that travel Northbound and Southbound through the Suez Canal. The rates for the Suez Canal Surcharge are set by the Suez Canal Authority, and are of course subject to change at given times.
Shippers might wonder what is the purpose of the Suez Canal Surcharge. After all, other surcharges like the Bunker Surcharge covers the cost of fuel. The reason for the Suez Canal Surcharge deals with the congestion at the Canal. There are resources and time used for operation of the Suez Canal and those expenses are passed to the shipper in the ocean freight rate. For those companies that ship through the Suez Canal, it would be wise to speak to a trusted freight forwarder who can guide you through the logistics process.