The Israeli Road-link between the ports of Eliat, Gulf of Aqaba, and Ashdod in now in business.
The Israeli Road-link between the ports of Eliat, Gulf of Aqaba, and Ashdod in now in business. This motorway-link provided the access from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean denied to cargo-shippers since the closure of the Suez over two years ago.
The road-link, spanning the 144 miles (232 kms) between the two ports, has just completed its running-in period. The intention of the project is that cargo ships, which previously sailed through the Suez Canal, can now unload their cargo at Eilat, have it transported by trucks to the Mediterranean port of Ashdod, and have it loaded onto other ships.
At present, the alternative open to the shipping companies is the long sea journey around the Cape of Good Hope. The actual shipping of the cargo from the one port to the other will be done by a private Government-owned company set up to manage the "dry canal".
Mr. Abraham Dar, the head of the project, said that while the Suez Canal remained closed, the road-link could become economically beneficial to both Israel and the Shipping Companies. If the road becomes successful, various developments are possible to make it a viable alternative to the Suez Canal should it reopen.
The biggest shipment so far has been 5,000 tons of coffee from East Africa to Rumania, and much of the shipping has been between Europe and Ethiopia.