Suez Canal

The Suez Canal northwards around Australia, but this will entail passage between the Great Barrier Reef and the Australian Mainland and through the dangerous and shallow waters of the Torres Straits. A pilot would need to be hired and cargo would be cut out because of the draft limitation. Proceed easterly from Newcastle, across the southern Pacific Ocean, aided by westerly winds, and around the southern tip of South America, either around notorious Cape Horn or through the Magellan Straights, and then northwards across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and to Rotterdam. Ships facing this route must take into consideration the likelihood of bad weather around the South American Continent, and the distance is somewhat further than other choices. Thus the selection is really between Alternatives One and Two. Alternative One is the longer in duration and made even longer by the fact that the vessel will very likely experience strong headwinds for the entire passage between Southern Australia and the Cape of Good Hope, and these winds – ‘The Roaring Forties’ – will probably add around two days extra steaming to passage time calculated from distance tables. However, against this, Suez Canal tolls in Alternative Two will be an expensive consideration. It is therefore necessary to perform two estimates, one for each of Alternatives One and Two, to enable the right choice to be selected. Let us start with Alternative One, and the first task should be to include in the estimate details of the cargo and of the ship. This will refresh the memory immediately before the start of calculations and also be useful for future reference. It is assumed that the vessel’s optimum speed on the basis of the freight market and current market bunker prices is 14 knots in either ballast or in laden condition, and this data is entered. (Note that fuel oil consumption at sea is described appropriately for ballast or laden condition at 14 knots).