Efforts to clear a backlog of hundreds of vessels in the Suez Canal are finally underway after a stranded container ship blocked the route for nearly a week, but experts warn the secondary effects on supply chains and shipping costs could last months. Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, became wedged across the southern part of the canal on March 23, bringing one the world’s busiest trade routes to a standstill. The initial impact was alarming. With around 13% of world trade passing through the Suez Canal, German insurance and financial services company Allianz estimated that a week of closure would cost global trade between US$6bn and US$10bn. Many vessels responded by travelling around southern Africa instead, typically adding 10 to 14 days to their journey, but according to S&P Global data there was an estimated backlog of 370 ships waiting for the canal to be cleared. Ever Given was refloated on March 29, following a mammoth dredging operation, the deployment of two powerful seagoing tugboats, a 400m lever to free the front of the ship, and a timely high tide. Though as of press time it remains anchored in the Great Bitter Lake – which lies… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center