Suez Canal Blockage, Countless Businesses Hit

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  • A huge container ship that has been wedged in the Suez Canal since Tuesday has finally been freed from the shoreline.
  • The Ever Given had been refloated at 15:05 (13:05 GMT) on Monday, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again.
  • However, it is not clear yet when full traffic in the canal can resume.A BBC news report written by Mary-Ann Russon highlights cost involved in the Suez Canal blockage.

Blockage a source of worry

The blockage has been the source of much worry and frustration for the global shipping industry.

We take a look at the key numbers that have been involved in the operation.

Details of Ever Given

The Ever Given is 400m-long (1,312ft) and weighs 200,000 tonnes, with a maximum capacity of 20,000 containers. It is currently carrying 18,300 containers.

The ship is operated by Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine and is one of the world’s largest container vessels.

It became stranded on Tuesday, after running aground and becoming lodged sideways across the waterway. At first a gust of wind was thought to be to blame .

369 ships stuck and waiting to pass 

As of Sunday, there were 369 ships stuck in a tailback waiting to pass through the 193km (120-mile) canal on either side of the blockage.

Meanwhile, there have been more than 145,200 social interactions on Twitter using the #SuezBLOCKED hashtag and at least 133,000 shares, according to real-time analysis by brand monitoring platform BrandMentions.

How much has the blockage cost?

About 12% of global trade, around one million barrels of oil and roughly 8% of liquefied natural gas pass through the canal each day.

SCA chairman Osama Rabie on Saturday said that the Canal’s revenues were taking a $14m-$15m (£10.2m-£10.9m) hit for each day of the blockage.

Prior to the pandemic, trade passing through the Suez Canal contributed to 2% of Egypt’s GDP, according to Moody’s.

Countless businesses affected

The Suez Canal blockage doesn’t just affect the global shipping industry or the Egyptian economy – countless businesses, from domestic transport providers to retailers, supermarkets and manufacturers are also impacted.

The true damage and cost is difficult to evaluate until the ship is fully freed and trade resumes.

British firms told the BBC on Friday that they were still waiting to find out when goods were likely to arrive.

One UK company, Seaport Freight Services, said it had 20 containers of goods stranded on the Ever Given

“We’re waiting on food goods like coconut milk and syrups, some spare parts for motors, we’ve got some fork lift trucks, some Amazon goods on there, all sorts,” the company said.

There were concerns that if the blockage at the Suez Canal continued, some firms will have to pay to order more goods and have them sent over by air freight, which costs at least three times more.

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Source: BBC