On Tuesday, at 7:40 a.m. cargo ship, Ever Given lost power and blocked the Suez Canal. The vessel is Taiwan-owned and one of the world’s largest, measuring 1,312 feet long, 175 feet wide, and weighing 200,000 tons. At the time, the ship was pushed sideways by winds reported at 30mph. With the ship still stuck, this is having huge ramifications on global trade.
On average 50 cargo vessels travel the Suez Canal per day with it being the shortest route between the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Lloyd’s List, maritime intelligence, calculates that the blockage is stopping $5.1 billion a day of traffic, which equates to $400 million an hour. This is causing a huge ripple effect in the world’s supply chain. The Suez Canal has approximately 12% of the total global trade moving through it and about 10% of that is from energy exports. By being forced to travel around the horn of Africa, the trip takes seven to nine extra days. After the Ever Given is finally cleared from the blockage, there is a backlog of ships on both sides of it. As of Thursday, there was already a 2 day backlog of vessels behind the blockage. This backlog is also preventing empty containers from coming back to China, so it could create delays of product from factory to container.
As of Friday, Mohab Mamish, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s advisor on seaports told the AFP news agency that the canal, “will resume again within 48-72 hours, maximum.” Some critics have come out and said, this could take weeks. One thing is certain, the longer the Ever Given is stuck, the greater the impact will be on the global economy.