Major efforts are underway to dislodge a large container ship stuck in the Suez Canal. The 224,000-ton ship, the Ever Given, entered the Canal on Tuesday morning. At approximately 7:40am local time, the ship suffered a blackout after being hit by a sandstorm due to strong winds.
Egypt’s Suez Canal is a major marine traffic waterway and one of the busiest and most important routes in the world. The ship, which measures 400 meters in length, was sent off-course due to the weather and ran aground blocking all traffic through this vital trade passageway.
The Ever Given was traveling from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean under a Panama flag and destined for the port of Rotterdam. The blockage of the Suez Canal is a major concern as 50+ ships per day use this trade route. The blockage is expected to be a challenge to re-float as the vessel is wedge across the waterway. It may take days or even a week to free the ship which is reported to have enough damage that it will unlikely be able to continue its route.
The Impact on Global Trade
Officials report that the 15 vessels that were following behind the Ever Given are being held at anchorage while the canal is cleared. This number could exceed 100 vessels before the blockage is completely removed. The Suez Canal sees as much as 30% of the container ship traffic globally each day, so this situation is having a major impact on world trade.
Removing a container ship of this size from the canal is a major effort and technically challenging, but we are hopeful that the right resources and efforts will be placed on the situation so that traffic can resume soon.