It is the most expensive traffic jam in the world: over 200 ships are already stranded in front of the Suez Canal. The wrecked container ship “Ever Given” has been blocking the waterway since Tuesday – through which 12 percent of the global trade volume is handled. While the bill is getting more expensive by the hour, there is something else that makes those responsible in need of explanation: It is not the first time that the floating giant has maneuvered itself into negative headlines.
Before the blockade in the Suez Canal: Super freighter painted mega penis into the sea(00:29)
Two years ago the ship came dangerously close to the shore. In February 2019, the container giant rammed the passenger ferry “Finkenwerder” and a pier in Hamburg (D). Just because there were no passengers on board, there was no disaster. Pictures from that time show that the small passenger ship and the jetty were badly damaged in the collision: dented superstructures, broken panes, bent metal. One crew member of the ferry was slightly injured and two others suffered a shock. Property damage: one million euros.
Investigation against the captain
A shocked resident filmed how the 400-meter freighter pushed past the living room window a few meters away. The police were investigating the captain, an Indian (39 at the time). Strong winds were named as the likely cause of the accident.
Even shortly before the Suez blockade, the captain of the “Ever Given” showed a flair for unconventional course choice. The satellite data show that while waiting for the entrance, the ship draws serpentine lines – and then appears to be drawing a penis on the map using GPS. A company spokesman for the shipping company spoke defensively of “pure coincidence” in “Spiegel”.
Meanwhile, the rescue attempts continue under high pressure. A floating suction dredger is used to attempt to remove enough sediment from around the ship to free it. Unloading containers is also an idea to provide more buoyancy.
Blockade costs around a billion every day
Time is running out. As the insurance company Allianz has calculated, the blockade costs six to ten billion US dollars per week. Every third shipping container worldwide has to go through the eye of a needle, and oil tankers are also stuck in traffic. Even if the passage is free again: Because only a limited number of ships can pass the canal, the mega-traffic jam should remain for a few more days.
Switzerland is also affected: Freighter blocks important trade route(00:55)
After all, there are no shortages in the supply of essential goods to fear in Switzerland, as the Federal Office for National Economic Supply said on Friday.
Published: 03/27/2021, 9:11 a.m.
Last updated: 27.03.2021, 18 minutes ago
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Blockade Suez Canal accident