Corinth Canal reopens to SME shipping after 18-month hiatus

GREECE's iconic Corinth Canal reopened to shipping earlier this month after an 18-month hiatus for repair works following a series of landslides, reports Xinhua.


The four-mile canal, being 70 feet wide is useless to most cargo ships today, but it saves time and money for smaller vessels sailing from the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Sea some 130 nautical miles.


Built from 1881 to 1893, the Corinth Canal between the Peloponnese peninsula and the mainland is considered an iconic 19th-century engineering project.


The canal is 24 metres wide at its base, and eight meters deep. It is still popular for smaller vessels and a unique tourist attraction.


"It reopened to navigation, as the first phase of the restoration works was completed," said canal general manager George Zouglis.


Further repair of the man-made canal will continue in the coming months. The canal will accommodate the summer maritime traffic and will close in early October again to allow for the second stage of the works. It will reopen next summer and will close for the final touches before the grand reopening.


In addition to the works of mitigating landslides and stabilising the banks, the upgrade project also includes fencing along the canal and constructing a 3.5 kilometres paved footpath for visitors.


During the first week of operation this July, almost 400 vessels have transited the canal and nearly 7,000 transits are expected in October.


In combination with upgrade works in the wider area, Greece in 2024 will be boasting a modernised hub for maritime transport which will further support the local tourism industry, said Zouglis.


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Corinth Canal reopens to SME shipping after 18-month hiatus
Corinth Canal reopens to SME shipping after 18-month hiatus