Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority is reporting that a massive container ship became stuck passing through the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest and most important arteries. As of Wednesday morning, more than 100 ships at each end of the canal are stuck. This adds additional burden to the global shipping industry dealing with complications from the coronavirus pandemic.
The stuck ship was heading from China to the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Due to poor visibility and high winds from a sandstorm that struck much of northern Egypt this week, the ship was misdirected and ran aground.
The Suez Canal Authority said that crews are working to refloat the vessel and push the ship along one bank of the canal. This will start to ease the backlog.
Progress to right the situation is slow and there is no telling how long it will take to clear the canal. According to Lt. General Osama Robie, the head of the canal authority, they are using an older section of the canal to help ease the traffic jam.
Almost all vessels traversing from Asia to Europe pass through the 120-mile channel. It is also used by vessels carrying cargo from Asia to the East Coast of the United States as well as for passage from North Africa.
Shipping companies build in extra days in their scheduling for interruptions and complications, however, this issue, along with the delays from the pandemic, is a major stumbling block that has a potential to cause a domino affect with delays throughout the already burdened supply chain.
We will keep abreast of the situation at the canal and report updates as necessary. Contact your Worldwide Logistics sales representative for more information.
Image source: Instagram