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Suez Canal blockage is delaying $9.6bn of goods daily, says official

Suez Canal blockage is delaying $9.6bn of goods daily, says official
March 26
14:40 2021

The Ever Given, a mega-container ship stranded in Egypt’s Suez Canal, is blocking an estimated $9.6 billion (N3.93 trillion) of goods per day.

The 200,000-tonne ship is the length of four football pitches and one of the world’s biggest container vessels and it is capable of carrying 20,000 containers.

The mega-container ship wedged in Egypt’s Suez Canal, the shortest shipping route from Europe to Asia, on Tuesday.

The ship had ran aground in the narrow canal which divides Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

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Lloyd List, a shipping expert, values Suez Canal’s westbound traffic at roughly $5.1 billion per day, and eastbound daily traffic at around $4.5 billion.

According to the Lloyd’s List tracking data, there are more than 160 vessels waiting at either end of the canal. These include 41 bulk carriers and 24 crude tankers.

The 400-metres (1,300 feet) long vessel blockage is causing huge stoppage of other ships trying to pass through the canal, thereby disrupting shipping activities.

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As efforts to free the ship has proved abortive, experts say it could take weeks to remove the ship.

In addition to delaying thousands of containers loaded with consumer items, the stranded ship has also tied up empty containers which are needed for exports.

Already, some companies are considering flying replacement merchandise and trains for transporting higher value products.

For example, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd — two major shipping companies, said they are looking into options to avoid the Suez Canal.

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Meanwhile the Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it was doing all it could to refloat the ship with tug boats, dredgers and heavy earth-moving equipment.

The suspension of traffic through the narrow channels has worsened problems for shipping lines that were already facing disruption and delays in supplying retail goods to consumers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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