Although Ever Given ship has reportedly been refloated, the Suez Canal blockage is expected to cause a massive shipping disruption that may last months, especially since some experts claim that re-floating was the easy part.
The 400-meter ship operated by Evergreen Marine, with almost 20,000 containers on it, has been blocking Suez Canal ever since March 23rd after it had been jammed diagonally across a southern section of the Suez Canal. The ship was on its route from Malaysia to the Netherlands when it ran aground after strong winds allegedly blew it off course.
This jam has been disrupting one of the world’s major supply-chain arteries, as Suez Canal is a conduit for about 12 percent of global trade, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia.
The almost week-long blockage has been disrupting hundreds of ships caught in the crossfire, causing them to burn approximately 1,000 tons of additional fuel, and not meet their weekly schedule. It had been reported that some ships have already opted for the long and expensive trip around the southern tip of Africa instead of Suez.
This crisis is one more struggle for the global supply chain, which has been stretching itself due to the pandemic, causing shipping rates to hit new heights. This new struggle will surely cause shippers to face further delays and higher costs, and eventually will cause a major strike to the end-users bottom line.
The partially re-floated Ever Given, left, on March 29. Source: Suez Canal Authority