Container ship runs aground within Suez Canal causing traffic jam

Reuters Singapore | Updated on March 24, 2021

‘Ever Given’ was en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean

A container ship heading to Rotterdam ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday, blocking other vessels from transiting one of the world’s most important waterways, according to shipping company GAC and shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The 200,000-tonne vessel en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean ran aground at about 7:40 a.m. (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday after the ship suffered a blackout, GAC said on its website.

It added that 15 other ships in the north-bound convoy behind the vessel were detained at anchorages waiting for the Canal to be cleared. A south-bound convoy was also blocked, GAC said.

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The container ship, the Ever Given, is 400 metres long (1,312 feet), 59 metres wide (193 feet), and can carry up to 20,000 20-foot equivalent (TEU) shipping containers.

World trade

Suez Canal authorities and Higaki Sangyo Kaisha Ltd, the owner and manager of the ship, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Nearly 19,000 ships, or an average of 51.5 ships per day, with a net tonnage of 1.17 billion tonnes, passed through the canal during 2020, to according to the Suez Canal Authority(SCA).

Shortage of containers to linger

About 12 per cent of the world trade volume passes through the man-made canal, which is a major source of hard currency in Egypt.

Published on March 24, 2021

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