Why Suez Canal has its importance?

Suez Canal is an artificial waterway in Egypt dividing Asia and Africa connecting the mediterranean sea and the red sea is the silk route of trade between Europe and Asia. Before the Suez canal, European countries travelled through Africa passing the Atlantic southern ocean entering Asia through the northern Indian Ocean and Arabian sea. By the construction of the Suez Canal, there is a total saving of 8900 km (which is approximately 8–10 days of water travel).

Suez Canal


In the year 1869, on 17th November after 10 years of efforts, Ferdinand de Lesseps former of the Suez Canal Company build and inaugurate the Suez Canal. A 193.30km long waterway is used by around 19000 water vessels in a year (around 52 water vessels a day).


The biggest challenge for building the Suez Canal was the water level difference between the Mediterranean sea and the red sea. The working of the Suez canal overcoming the challenge is shown in the video linked using the compartmental system and recovery of water levels.

Working of Canal

From the figure, we can see three regions are created using two separation walls. The left-hand side compartment is a high water level side and the Right-hand side compartment is a low water level side. When a water vessel coming from a high water level side, after lifting up the lefthand wall, the level of the first and second compartment equalized and the vessel is moved to the intermediate compartment. The wall is closed back. Now for further motion, the level of water has to be reduced to right-hand water level and for that pump, connections are used between each compartment. The water is sent back to the left compartment and there is a reduction in water level up to righthand level. The right wall is lifted and the water vessel can sail toward its destination. Similarly, additional water is again transported back to the intermediate compartment until its level reaches the same as the left compartment. The same procedure is repeated every time.


Suez canal allows the ships with a passage accommodating 20m of vessel draft, 77.5m vessel beam, 240000 tons of dead weight and a height of 68m above the water level.

Beam and Draft

Statue of Liberty

To celebrate Suez Canal a french sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi thought of building a grand statue and requested the Egyptian government and the Suez canal company. The idea was to build a statue of a traditional lady dressed and holding a torch that will symbolize ‘Egyptian bringing light to Asia’. The idea meant to serve as a lighthouse to passing ships at the Mediterranean end of the Canal. The idea didn’t inspire the Egyptian but Bartholdi continued his efforts and finally, it came up to New York where it changed its symbolism to ‘Liberty enlightening the World’.

These are some facts that make the Suez Canal unique in the world of trade.

Written by: Meet Shah(Instagram: @meet8600)

Vociferous Writers (Instagram: @vociferouswriters)