Suez Canal blockage could affect United Kingdom auto deliveries

Friday, 26 Mar, 2021

Tracking data showed the ill-fated Ever Given container ship had charted a course resembling a massive phallus through the Red Sea before it got stuck in the Suez Canal - something that did not go unnoticed in Moscow. Fifty ships a day pass through the artery, accounting for roughly 10% of global trade volume.

The ship, called the Ever Given, is registered in Panama.

The Suez drastically shortens travel between Asia and Europe.

It ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway at about 07:40 local time (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday.

Egyptian tug boats have so far failed to pull the ship free and on Thursday morning it was reported that low tide has slowed efforts to dislodge it. Billions of dollars of products and supplies can not pass through the canal as a result.

Acknowledging the global turmoil that the blockage, the ship's owner issued a formal apology. The salvage operator working to free the ship said it could be weeks before it is re-floated - raising the possibility of major new disruptions to global commerce just as supply chains have begun to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Measuring 400 meters long and weighing 224,000 tons, the Ever Given is one of the world's biggest containerships. The official did not want to be identified because the person did not have permission to talk to reporters. Other boats have tried to push it, but satellite pictures show it is still in the same place.

This came during a meeting of the Dutch company's working team and the SCA's Crisis Management Committee to discuss ways to free the ship. While ships can take an alternative route around the southern tip of Africa, as they did in the days before the canal, it's not clear that doing so would be any faster than waiting for the jam to clear. "You can forget it".

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Suez Canal stays blocked despite efforts to free massive cargo ship

In a translation of its statement, Shoei Kisen said it would "continue to work toward an early resolution of the situation".

An initial report suggested the ship suffered a power blackout before the incident, something Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement denied.

Egypt´s Suez Canal Authority said it was "temporarily suspending navigation" until refloating of the MV Ever Given ship was completed on one of the busiest maritime trade routes. Cargo ships already behind the Ever Given in the canal will be forced to move back to Port Suez to free the channel, Leth Agencies said.

It is operated by shipping company Evergreen Marine and is one of the world's largest vessels.

Lloyd's List, a famed shipping journal, estimates that the closure will prevent $9 billion dollars (7.6 billion euros) from passing through the canal each day.

Chairman of Suez Canal Osama Rabie said that sailing in the worldwide waterway will be allowed for a whole day once the ship floats in order to make it up for ships whose crossing got delayed. Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Isabel DeBre in Dubai and Mike Corder at The Hague, Netherlands, contributed. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English.

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