A Geographical Overview of the Suez Canal Freight Flows: an Impact on the Mediterranean Sea and the Genoa port

  • Marcello Tadini Dipartimento di Studi per l'Economia e l'Impresa, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italia
Keywords: The Suez Canal, freight flows, maritime routes, the Mediterranean Sea, the Genoa port


The Suez Canal, that connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea across the Isthmus of Suez, is one of the world’s most critical waterways. Today it represents a strategic world’s choke point. Maritime choke points are a major issue today in the global economy and in shipments of goods, particularly oil and container.
This paper, using the typical approach of the transport geography, aims to highlight the geo-political and geo-economic relevance of the Suez Canal starting from its construction until its recent expansion. In particular, the paper considers the canal’s impact on the Mediterranean’s new centrality in global seaborne trade.
Main freight flows crossing the Suez Canal northbound/southbound underline the importance of the Northern Mediterranean and Italian ports that perform gateway functions.
The main goal of the paper is to describe, as Panaro suggested (2015), how the new infrastructure of the Suez Canal is extremely important for the Northern Italy gateway ports in particular focusing on the Genoa port (which is the target of a significant share of traffic coming from/directed to Suez).