“With the extension of the suspension of the traffic dues until December 31, 2021, an important step has been taken to ensure the competitiveness of the Kiel Canal in the coming year”, said the chairman of the Kiel-Canal Initiative Jens B. Knudsen.
At the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, the Kiel Canal experienced a drop in traffic figures of up to 40% as a result of the corona pandemic. “There has never been such a decline in ship passages on the Kiel Canal before, because the historically low bunker price caused by the corona pandemic made the alternative route around Skagen suddenly more economical for ship-owners,” said the chairman. In order to keep the Kiel Canal competitive, the federal government decided at the beginning of July to suspend the traffic dues on the Kiel Canal until the end of 2020.
The success was immediately apparent. Right after this decision was implemented, ship passages increased slowly but steadily, although the bunker prices remained low. Since the framework conditions have not changed since then, the maritime industry considers a suspension of the traffic dues at the Kiel Canal to be urgently needed in 2021.
“Over the past few months, we have worked intensively in close cooperation with the Central Association of German Ship Brokers on this topic, which is so important for the Kiel Canal” said Knudsen. The Kiel-Canal Initiative thanks the Federal Government and the Bundestag for this important decision.
“With the suspension of the traffic dues in 2021, the Federal Government has underlined the importance of the Kiel Canal as the most frequented artificial waterway in the world and ensured that, on the one hand, our North German seaports will continue to be strengthened and, on the other hand, our environment will be protected by avoiding longer sea routes around Skagen”, states the chairman of the Kiel Canal initiative.
Source: Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V., press release dated 03.12.2020