If political unrest in Egypt causes the Suez Canal to be closed, it could have positive consequences for shippers and US oil refiners, Morten Arntzen, president and CEO of Overseas Shipholding Group , told CNBC Monday.
“[Shipping] Rates would move from unacceptable to moderately acceptable levels,” said Arntzen. “Nothing spectacular, but it would be healthy for the market.”
If the canal were to be closed, ships and tankers would have to go around the African continent, which would result in higher shipping rates that would be passed on to customers, said Arntzen. About 10 percent of the world’s trade passes through the canal.
However, as of today, traffic through the canal is “business as usual,” Bruce Chan, president and CEO-elect of Teekay Tanker Services , told CNBC Monday.
Chan said that Teekay has three ships in the Suez region, including one that’s in the Port of Suez and is scheduled to pass through the canal on-time tomorrow heading north.