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Suezmax

Suezmax is a naval architecture term for the largest ships capable of transiting the Suez Canal fully loaded, and is almost exclusively used in reference to tankers.

Since the canal has no locks, the only serious limiting factors are draft (maximum depth below waterline), and height due to the Suez Canal Bridge. The current channel depth of the canal allows for a maximum of 16 m (52.5 ft) of draft, meaning many fully laden supertankers are too deep to fit through, and either have to unload part of their cargo to other ships ('transhipment') or to a pipeline terminal before passing through, or alternatively avoid the Suez Canal and travel around Cape Agulhas instead.

The Suez Canal was deepened from 18m (60 ft) to 20.1 m (66 ft) in 2009, a suezmax vessel of up to 200,000 DWT or even more can easily pass through it. Also of note is the maximum head room�'air draft'�limitation of 68 m (223.1 ft), which is the height above water of the Suez Canal Bridge. There is also a width limitation of 70.1 m (230 ft), but only a handful of tankers exceed this size, and they are excluded from Suez by their draft in any case. The canal authority produces tables of width and acceptable draft, which are subject to change.

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