Suez Canal Blockade Costing About $400 Million An Hour

There’s no denying that the Suez Canal is the world’s most important waterway. The reason: about 12% of the global trade flowing through a single canal, one connecting two continents- Asia and Europe. The canal is so strategic that world powers have fought over the waterway since it was completed in 1869.

SUEZ
Shoei Kisen, the Japanese container ship stuck in the Suez Canal

During WWII, one of the main factors which ensured Allied victory was the ability of their troops to keep the supply chain flowing by controlling the Suez, which was constantly under Axis shelling.

As FleetMon reported on the grounding of Ultra Large Container Vessel EVER GIVEN on Mar 23, authorities have been constantly trying to use tugs and diggers to dislodge the massive 400m long container ship, but to no avail. This is increasing the chances of a prolonged delay in the global supply chain, which can amplify the woes of commoners around the world.

The situation has gotten so frantic that an elite salvage squad will be arriving today to work on prising the EVER GIVEN from the bank of the canal, where it’s obstructing ocean-bound carriers, ranging from bulk carriers, all the way to oil tankers and container ships.

Meanwhile, mega container ships have started changing routes to skip the Suez Canal. At least two container ships changed their routes, skipping Suez transit.

The Ultra Large Container Ship EVER GREET (IMO 9832729, GT 219688, capacity 20388 TEU) changed course in Arabian sea on Mar 25 and now is heading in SW direction, apparently to sail around South Africa. She’s en route from China via Tanjun Pelepas, Malaysia, to Rotterdam, ETA changed, unclear.

Also, ultra Large Container Ship HMM ROTTERDAM (IMO 9868338, GT 232311, capacity 23820 TEU) changed course west of Gibraltar early in the morning Mar 26, and as of 0700 UTC Mar 26 was sailing in southern direction, to sail around South Africa. She’s en route from London Gateway UK to Singapore, ETA Apr 21.