Germany has waived the dues from the start of this month. File Image / Pixabay
Germany has waived traffic dues for passing through the Kiel Canal because of this year's persistent weakness in bunker prices, according to the Port of Hamburg.
The dues will be suspended from this month until the end of the year, the port authority said last week.
The canal allows ships to pass from the Baltic to the North Sea through Germany without the need to travel around Denmark, saving time and fuel consumption. But this year's low bunker prices have removed much of the benefit from using it.
"The suspension of the traffic dues is an important step to restore the competitiveness of the Kiel Canal," Jens Broder Knudsen, chairman of the Kiel Canal Initiative, said in the statement.
"It does justice to the importance of the Kiel Canal, which secures over 3,000 jobs in the region and around 51 million tons of cargo in the port of Hamburg alone."