BIMCO provides update on situation in Egypt

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February 9, 2011

The following update was issued today, February 9, by BIMCO:

General advice
Operations can in most cases continue, but be aware of potential disruptions due to the effects of civil unrest. BIMCO continues to monitor the situation and recommends that companies to – to the extent possible – do the same and maintain close liaison with business partners in the country.

General situation in Egypt
The situation is still unstable, and all but essential travel to Cairo (includes all four governorates of Cairo, Giza, Helwan and “6 October”), Alexandria, Luxor and Suez is discouraged. Consequently, shipment of ships’ stores and crew changes are recommended to be carried out via other destinations. Over the past week there have been violent demonstrations in Cairo and other locations across Egypt, including Suez, North Sinai, Rafah, the Delta region and some areas of Upper Egypt, including Luxor. The Red Sea resorts, including Sharm el Sheikh remain calm. Demonstrations are expected to continue over the coming days, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Suez Canal operations
Suez Canal operations are continuing without major disruptions, not least because the military controls the Canal operations. Pilots guarded by military are boarding vessels as planned and are exempted from the curfew.

Egyptian port operations
Reportedly, the prevailing conditions in Egypt still have a negative effect on port operations, although the situation seems to have improved somewhat. GAC reports that breakbulk operations are only permitted for non-direct delivery cargo, and discharge operations are slow, due to a shortage of labour and diesel for shore equipment. Silos for bulk cargo are working, and all oil & gas terminals are fully operational.

In Damietta operations are ongoing throughout the day, but at a slower pace than normal.

In Port Said (SCCT Terminal) work is now ongoing 24/7, but at a slower pace than normal. The port is being perimeter guarded by the Egyptian army.

In Alexandria work is ongoing, but the container terminal is experiencing congestion and is only accepting vessels which are loading more containers than they are discharging. Customs clearance is working half-day.

The nationwide curfew has been relaxed to the period from 20:00 to 06:00 local time. The curfew generally affects movement to and from ports and the Suez Canal, and can have a negative effect on operations.

Communications disruptions
Communications in Egypt has improved over the last few days, but irregularities in mobile phone coverage and Internet availability still occurs. The disruptions of the various communications lines can potentially affect members’ business in the area.

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