Home » Suez Canal still blocked, causing massive shipping jam: Live

Suez Canal still blocked, causing massive shipping jam: Live

Container ship continues to choke traffic in both directions along the Suez Canal, creating one of the worst shipping jams seen in years.

Low tide overnight has slowed efforts to dislodge a massive container ship that has choked traffic in both directions along the Suez Canal and created one of the worst shipping jams seen in years.

The Ever Given vessel ran aground diagonally across the single-lane stretch of the southern canal on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.

It is now blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels linking Asia and Europe.

Here are the latest updates:

Tugs working to dislodge vessel

Efforts to dislodge the 400-metre long container vessel have resumed at high tide on Thursday, with tugs working to drag the vessel to deeper water, according to ship-tracking data.

Ship-tracking software shows five tugs surrounding the Ever Given and three more heading towards it.

At least 150 other vessels needing to pass through the crucial waterway idled waiting for the obstruction to clear, authorities said.

A satellite image released by Planet Labs Inc on March 24, 2021, shows the Taiwan-owned MV ‘Ever Given’ container ship, a 400-metre-long and 59-metre wide vessel, lodged sideways, impeding all traffic across the waterway of Egypt’s Suez Canal [Planet Labs / AFP]

Oil prices fall slightly

US crude fell 1.81 percent to $60.07 per barrel, and Brent fell 1.46 percent to $63.45 a barrel, giving back some of the previous day’s gains made after the Suez Canal blockage.

Only minor positional changes registered

Ship-tracking software shows that the Ever Given has made only minor changes to its position over the past 24 hours, despite the deployment of several tugs to drag it to deeper water, Reuters reported.

Several dozen vessels, including other large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk vessels hauling grain have backed up at either end of the canal to create one of the worst shipping jams seen for years.

Roughly 30 percent of the world’s shipping container volume transits through the 193 km (120 miles) Suez Canal daily, and about 12 percent of total global trade of all goods.

Ships may have to de-route around Africa

Shipping experts say that if the blockage is not likely to be cleared within the next 24-48 hours, some shipping firms may be forced to re-route vessels around the southern tip of Africa, which would add roughly a week to the journey.

But the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority told media that despite the blockage some cargo was able to move south and that efforts to dislodge Ever given would continue.

“Once we get this boat out, then that’s it, things will go back to normal. God willing, we’ll be done today,” Chairman Osama Rabie said.

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