'Traffic jam' at Suez Canal causes global oil price hike

Amani Nilar | Published: 12:16 PM Mar 25 2021
World 'Traffic jam' at Suez Canal causes global oil price hike

A giant container ship the length of four football pitches has become wedged across Egypt's Suez Canal, blocking one of the world's busiest trade routes.

Dozens of vessels are stuck, waiting for rescue boats to free the 400m-long (1,312ft) ship, which was knocked off course by strong winds.

Egypt has reopened the canal's older channel to divert some traffic until the grounded ship can move again.

The blockage sent oil prices climbing on international markets as about 12% of the global trade passes via the Suez Canal.

The Ever Given, registered in Panama and operated by the shipping company Evergreen, was bound for the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands from China and was passing northwards through the canal on its way to the Mediterranean.

The 200,000 tonne ship ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway at about 05:40 GMT on Tuesday.

At 400m long and 59m wide, the ship has blocked the path of other vessels which are now trapped in lines in both directions.

In a statement, it said its "immediate priorities are to safely re-float the vessel and for marine traffic in the Suez Canal to safely resume".

Experts have warned the process could take several days.


Amani Nilar | Published: 12:16 PM Mar 25 2021

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