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A huge container ship blocked the world’s busiest waterway trade routes yesterday (Mar 25, 2021). Around 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea makes it the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe. It is the first time in Canal’s 150-year history.

Ever Given, a Panama-registered ship managed by the shipping company Evergreen, was heading to the Netherlands from China and was cruising up north through the Canal on its way to the Mediterranean Sea.

As long as The Empire State Building, the ship was knocked by a 40-knot wind and a sand storm. Egypt has reopened the Canal’s older pathway to divert traffic until the knocked-off ship can move again. Authorities tried to re-float the vessel Thursday morning but were not able to succeed. Another effort has been made later on Thursday, according to BBC News.

Group of vessels including other large container ships, carrying oil tankers and gas, and bulk vessels hauling essential goods needed to back up at either end of the Canal that is causing the worst traffic jam in shipping history.

The Suez Canal is an essential pathway to world trade, connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, providing easier access for ships to pass from Asia to the Middle East and Europe. The main route around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa is the lesser option because it will take an inconsiderable amount of time.

On average, around 12% of world trade passes through the Canal daily. It is an essential pathway for oil and liquified natural gas, enabling shipments to get from the Middle East to Europe. That is why this incident may potentially cause an impact on world trade.

The worst-case scenario is for this route to be blocked – which is what exactly happened last Thursday. We just hope this won’t remain impassable since it will cause delay and severe shippers’ problems, delaying goods and fuel all around the globe. Authorities are doing their best not to impact world trade; however, it has already caused an international oil price hike.

photo by: apnews.com