Suez Canal: More than 200 ships accumulate – world trade increasingly threatened

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  • ofLukas Rogalla

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The “MS Ever Given” blocks the Suez Canal – and with it a large part of global trade. Meanwhile, the shipping companies fear of robberies is increasing.

  • A huge tanker has been stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt since Tuesday.
  • The wrecked container ship endangers global trade, but getting the “MS Ever Given” back on track is extremely difficult.
  • The fear of pirate attacks in the Suez Canal is increasing. A number of companies are asking the US Navy for assistance.

+++ 1:15 p.m .: The “MS Ever Given” continues to block the Suez Canal in both directions. “Al Jazeera” reports that on Friday around 200 ships dammed up in front of the entrances to the world’s most important waterway. Lloyd’s List, a shipping news and information company, estimates that the blockade will stop freight worth around 9.6 billion euros between Asia and Europe every day. According to a study by the insurance company “Allianz”, it could cost global trade six to ten billion dollars every week.

The “MS Ever Given” is around 400 meters long and can carry around 20,000 containers six meters in length. The ship was on its way from China to Rotterdam. The salvage work could be further complicated by changing weather conditions. Some operators therefore decide to take the detour around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

The container ship “Ever Given” is stuck in the Suez Canal and blocks the waterway in both directions. (Satellite image)

© AFP PHOTO / SATELLITE IMAGE ©2021 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

Suez Canal: Recovery of container ship failed – fear of pirates increases – US Army is ready

Update from Saturday, March 27th, 2021, 11:04 a.m .: The salvage work around the container ship “MS Ever Given” which ran aground in the Suez Canal is interrupted on late Friday evening and should be continued on Saturday. Most recently, an attempt was made to remove 20,000 cubic meters of sand from the bow of the ship with dredgers and thus free it. However, this measure has not yet led to any notable success. The US Army has therefore offered its support.

“As part of our active diplomatic dialogue with Egypt, we have offered US assistance to the Egyptian authorities in reopening the canal,” said Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman. The talks are apparently still going on.

The 400-meter-long and over 220,000-tonne container ship “MS Ever Given” had gone off course in a sandstorm and ran aground near the banks of the Suez Canal. It has since blocked the world’s most important waterway. Since Wednesday (March 24th, 2021) efforts on site to get the ship free again have been in full swing. In the worst case, the recovery could take weeks.

Container ship “MS Ever Given” blocks Suez Canal: fear of pirates increases

Update from Saturday, March 27th, 2021, 7:35 a.m .: Efforts to get the huge container ship “MS Ever Given” back to sea and to free the Suez Canal are in full swing. But even on the fourth day after the accident, the world’s most important sea traffic route remains blocked.

As if that alone weren’t worrying enough, the fear of pirates is now apparently increasing on the spot. As reported in the US media, numerous companies have asked the US Navy for help out of fear of robberies. The stuck ships are an easy target for pirates. Buccaneers are traditionally up to mischief in the area and the number of robberies rose by 20 percent in the last year alone.

“MS Ever Given” blocks the Suez Canal – Biden government offers support

It is not yet clear whether US President Joe Biden will actually send ships and personnel to Egypt to protect the ships that are jammed in the Suez Canal. When asked in Washington DC, his press spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US had already offered its help.

It is also unclear when the Suez Canal can be reopened. Experts had recently voiced their fear that the recovery of the “MS Ever Given” could drag on for weeks and that global trade would suffer a severe blow as a result.

Suez Canal in Egypt: Container ship “MS Ever Given” got stuck

First report from Friday, March 26th, 2021, 9.47 a.m.: Cairo – Even three days after the container ship “MS Ever Given” ran aground in the Suez Canal, the blockade of one of the most important trade routes in the world continues. While Egyptian government circles are expecting a quick solution to the problem in the next few days, the ongoing blockade in the network has long since developed into a “running gag”. Above all, the irritating route that the navigator took before the accident is now causing scorn and ridicule.

Shipping on the Suez Canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean will be “resumed within 48 to 72 hours at most,” said the advisor to Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for seaports, Mohab Mamisch, on Thursday evening (25.03.2021) the AFP news agency . The owners of the “MS Ever Given” had previously stated that the recovery of the 400-meter-long and 59-meter-wide container ship could take weeks.

Blockade in the Suez Canal: The “MS Ever Given” has not made progress for days

For two days already, several tugs from the Egyptian canal administration and an excavator have been trying to free the “MS Ever Given” from its predicament. At both ends of the Suez Canal, countless other ships are now stuck up, which are prevented from passing by the diagonally lying 220,000-ton container ship. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) cites a severe sandstorm as the reason for the accident, which impaired the captain’s view.

Name: Suezkanal Depth: 24 meters
Opening: November 17, 1869 Owner: Suez Canal Authority (SCA)
Length: 193.3 kilometers Pass-through fee: $ 300,000

The SCA announced on Thursday (March 25th, 2021) that the passage through the 193 kilometer long canal was officially “temporarily suspended”. As early as the first day of the involuntary blockade, the Federation of German Industries had warned that the situation in the Suez Canal would exacerbate the already tense situation in international container shipping.

Disaster of the “MS Ever Given” in the Suez Canal: the economy is concerned

Central supply chains threatened to stall due to a lack of containers, unpunctual ships and a lack of transport capacities, so the fear. While the economy already fears turbulent effects on international logistics and the global flow of goods, the current situation in the Suez Canal in the network is primarily causing general amusement. Numerous memes take up the blockade caused by the “MS Ever Given” politically, for example by comparing the hopeless situation with the measures taken by the federal government to contain the corona pandemic.

Other users, on the other hand, enjoy the recorded route of the container ship, which can be traced on the “Vesselfinder” tracking page – simply because it shows a penis with a scrotum in the sea. It is not yet known whether it was an absurd coincidence, a deliberately brought about “joke” by men or a desperate show of force by the patriarchate shortly before one of the world’s most important trade routes was shut down. (Joel Schmidt with material from afp)

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Suez Canal ships accumulate world trade increasingly threatened

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