The Suez Canal is an important pathway connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas through Egypt. A human-made canal built in 1869 is the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12% of world trade by volume. It provides a major shortcut for ships moving between Europe and Asia, who before its construction had to sail around Africa to complete the same journey.
But on 23rd March, it was blocked after a large cargo ship ran aground. Egypt depends on the canal for revenues and is now diverting ships to another canal to lessen the issues which could affect global trade.
The vessel blocking Suez is the Ever Given - Panama registered container ship that is on its way to Rotterdam in the Netherlands from China. It got stuck due to weather conditions. Evergreen Marine, a Taiwanese transport company that operates the ship, said it was “Suspected of being hit by a sudden strong wind, causing the hull to deviate… and accidentally hit the bottom and run aground”.
According to a Reuters report, any such delay could also lead to a shortage of container vessels and boxes, as 30% of all container ships in the world pass through Suez.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) are trying their best to free the ship from the canal's bank. But it could take several days for the canal activities to return to normal.
This article has been written by Riya Rajayyan for The Paradigm.
See you next time...