The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has introduced a new set of canal tolls on all vessels travelling both north and south, American Shipper wrote.

Depending on carrier type, the increase was either 5%, 7% or 10%, according to the 28 February report. The new charges, which were introduced on 1 March, affect both full and empty vessels.

The increase was the second toll increase on all vessels, with the exception of LNG and cruise ships, in the last month. Those two vessel classes were not affected when the SCA announced in early November that it would increase transit tolls through the canal by 6% beginning in February, the report said.

“This new toll announcement is substantial for a container ship that already pays US$500,000 to US$600,000 per transit,” Xeneta chief analyst Peter Sand told American Shipper. “Global trade just got more expensive.”

The latest price rise meant a one-way transit would increase from US$625,000 to US$675,000 for a large container ship, according to Sand.

Due to the length of voyage time from China to the USA and the increase in fuel prices, carriers would have to decide whether to go around the Horn of Africa and use more fuel or go through the Suez Canal, the report said, with the latter the less costly option.

The additional rate increase came as record volumes of traffic use the Suez Canal, American Shipper wrote.