- A cargo ship the size of the Empire State Building has been jammed in a vital trade route for days.
- The Ever Given’s blockage of the Suez Canal costs $US400 ($527) million per hour, Lloyd’s List estimates.
- On average, $US9.7 ($13) billion in goods travel through the canal, connecting Asia and Europe, every day.
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A massive cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important trade routes, costs $US400 ($527) million per hour in delayed goods, Lloyd’s List estimated.
The vessel, called the Ever Given, has been lodged in the canal, which runs through Egypt, since early Tuesday. The canal provides a vital shipping route that connects Europe to Asia.
Lloyd’s List, a London-based shipping-news journal, estimated the value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day at $US9.7 ($13) billion on average, with $US5.1 ($7) billion traveling west and $US4.6 ($6) billion traveling east.
The average number of vessels passing through the canal each day is 93, meaning that nearly 300 vessels have already been blocked thus far, with the jam not yet close to being cleared and the possibility that it could take weeks to dislodge the ship. The ship’s owner, Japanese company Shoei Kisen, said Friday that it hoped to free the vessel on Saturday, according to Nikkei Asia.
The blockage affects the already-strained global supply chain, which has experienced shortages and shipping delays since the pandemic began last spring. It has also forced some ships to reroute and instead make the long, dangerous, and costly journey around Africa’s southern tip.
The Ever Given, which is slightly larger than the Empire State Building, ran aground Tuesday morning and is stuck diagonally across the canal. Crews have attempted to clear the sand and mud from around the ship, while tugboats have tried to shift the vessel.