Freighter run aground: container ship blocks Suez Canal


Status: 24.03.2021 8:37 a.m.

Nothing is currently going on on the most important sea trade connection between Asia and Europe, the Suez Canal: a 400 meter long freighter has run aground. Shipping traffic is jammed in both directions.

By Björn Blaschke,
ARD-Studio Kairo

A large container ship has been blocking the Suez Canal since early this morning. A photo on social media shows the stranded ship. It lay sideways, touching both sides of the canal with its bow and stern. In addition, a small excavator that clears sand on a bank. Smugglers are trying to get rid of the “Ever Given”, which is registered in Panama and was en route from China to the Netherlands.

Could be days

The media reported that a technical error was “partially” the cause of the incident. Citing the Egyptian Suez Canal authority, it is said that it may take days before the container transporter built in 2018 gets back on the road.

Shipping traffic jams in both directions

Shipping traffic is now backing up in both directions. A naval historian told a broadcaster that the Ever Given, which is 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, is the largest ship ever to run aground in the Suez Canal. Such incidents are rare and could have “enormous effects on world trade”.

Important maritime trade connection

The reason: The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea in northern Egypt, is the shortest and most important sea trade connection between Asia and Europe. The Suez Canal is approximately 190 kilometers long, and it was only a few years ago that the Egyptian government deepened the waterway and opened a 35-kilometer parallel canal.

Egypt – Container ship blocks Suez Canal

Björn Blaschke, ARD Cairo, March 24th, 2021 7:26 am

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Freighter run aground container ship blocks Suez Canal


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