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The following two tables give the number of mercantile vessels that arrived at and left the port of Alexandria in the year 1882 and in 1883, and also their nationality and tonnage.
Annual returns of arrivals and clearances of mercantile vessels in 1882 and 1883—port of Alexandria.
The universal traffic through the Suez Canal in 1882.-The brilliant receipts of transit via the Suez Canal realized by the company in the course of this year have affirmed in a most triumphant manner the predictions of Mr. De Lesseps. The shareholders and collaborators of the illustrious founder of the canal are therefore happy, and can justly congratulate themselves now on the enthusiasm and faith they had placed in "the great Frenchman" during the gloomy hours of their first step. In reality, thirteen years-a trifle for a grand work like this-have only elapsed since the opening of the canal to the great navigation, and to the 486 ships, producing a meager receipt of 5,159,327 francs, realized in 1870, the year 1882 haughtily opposes the wonderful total of 3,198 ships, and the receipt-still more marvelous-of 60,523,815 francs.
The figures hereunder given, showing the progression of the number of vessels and the importance of the receipts of the canal since its inauguration, have a true eloquence which every one will appreciate :
Once we have traced the general lines, let us analyze the question more minutely.
As it has already been noted, 3,198 vessels, representing a net tonnage of 5,075,000 tons in round figures, and a gross tonnage of 7,125,000 tons, have given, as a total sum of canal dues, 60,523,815 francs.
Of the 3,198 vessels having made the transit in 1882, 2,565, of a gross tonnage of 5,800,000 tons, were under British flag. The remainder, viz, 623 vessels, of 1,325,000 tons, belonged to seventeen different nationalities, of which 165 were French, 109 German, 103 Dutch, 67 Austrian, 61 Italian, 32 Spanish, 20 Norwegian, 21 Egyptian, 18 Russian, 13 Belgian, 10 Ottoman, 4 Chinese, 4 Greek, 2 Danish, 2 Portuguese, 1 Siamese, and 1 from Zanzibar.
The different categories of vessels which have taken part in this movement are composed as follows: 2,361 steamers of commerce, 506 postal, 129 steamers chartered for the British expedition to Egypt, 59 avisos, 42 Government transports, 22 gunboats, 12 corvettes, 10 ironclads, 10 yachts, 8 cruisers, 2 sail schooners, 1 frigate, and 39 tug-boats. The number of passengers embarked on these vessels was 125,000, of which 32,350 saloon passengers (civilians), 13,499 Australian emigrants, 6,390 Mussulman pilgrims, 798 Russian convicts, and 71,963 military passengers; of which, 43,020 English, 9,558 Ottoman, 6,030 French, 3,065 Dutch, 2,285 Spanish, 1,240 Russian, 451 Portuguese, 247 Italian, and 68 German; 1,610 vessels have entered the canal from the Mediterranean, and 1,588 from the Red Sea.
The 3,198 vessels composing the movement via canal in 1882 do not, in reality, taking from a commercial point of view, represent more than 2,867 effective steamers that have passed through with cargoes of different nature, of which the following is a detailed list :
Forming a general totality of 4,152,522 tons of merchandise and various products transported to both of the above-mentioned destinations.
The traffic under the British flag has slightly diminished in 1882, comparing it with that of 1880 and 1881. Indeed, it had reached to 30 per cent. in 1880, whereas in 1881 it had attained the enormous figure of 82 per cent. This decrease is due to the augmentation of French, German, Dutch, and Italian ships and tonnage. Among these, the French flag has exceeded the figure of 5 per cent. on the general movement in 1882, whilst in the year 1881 it had hardly attained 4 per cent.
The very active engagement in affairs and transactions established by the Suez Canal takes progressively immense proportions. The great French, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish navigation companies are doubling and tripling their material and will, before long, be able to cause a serious competition to the British flag, not only in China, India, and the Birman Empire, but also in Australia and Japan, without counting the Philippine Islands and the South Archipelago. On the other hand, the sailing vessels still frequenting those parts are greatly diminishing, while the number of steamers continues increasing.
The traffic and receipts of the canal of Suez for the year 1883.
Of the above number of 3,307 ships, 1,663 have passed through the canal from the Mediterranean and 1,644 from the Red Sea.
Table of goods and products on transit through the Suez Canal in 1883.