How much is the Suez Canal blockage going to cost?

Nautical Channel
29 Mar 2021
NEWS | Industry

The huge container ship that was wedged in the Suez Canal since last Tuesday has finally been freed. According to Peter Berdowski, chief executive of the Dutch salvage company Boskalis, the Ever Given was refloated, making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again. However, it is still not clear when full traffic will resume, as there has been a massive delay and buildup that has forced ships to go past Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

The MV Ever Given was a 400-meter long ship operated by the Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine. With a weight of 200,000 tonnes, it is one of the world’s largest container vessels. Last Tuesday it stranded and became lodged sideways on the canal blocking the path of any other vessel.

At first it was believed a gust of wind was the cause of the blockage, however, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) told reporters this was not the only cause. An investigation is taking place to determine whether it was a technical or human error.

About 12% of global trade passes through the canal each day. According to SCA chairman Osama Rabie, the Canal's revenue was taking a $14-$15M hit each day. This would add up to a blazing total of $105 million in losses. Lloyd's List has shown a separate list on the impact of the Suez Canal blockage. According to them, the stranded ship was holding an estimated $9.6 billion of trade each day. This means it has cost the world $6.7M per minute. 

Not only the global shipping industry has been affected: countless domestic retailers, supermarkets or manufacturers also suffer the impact. This makes the true damage and cost of the blockage harder to evaluate.

Now that it is freed, we hope traffic resumes sooner than later to minimize the negative impacts of the event that has shocked the nautical industry worldwide. 

Image from BBC News
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