Nearly a quarter-mile-long container ship was stuck in the Suez canal. On 28th March this gigantic ‘Ever Given’ container ship queued around 380 ships to pass through the passage. After a week of struggle, finally, Suez Canal has been re-opened, though it affected many countries economically now the passage is clear.
What leads to such a scenario?
On 23rd march, Ever Given on the path to reach one of the Netherland’s ports and crossing the Gulf of Suez entered the Suez canal. The container had barely covered 11 km, a strong splash of the sand storm with more a 75 km per hour forced the ship to lose its navigation path and thus the ship stuck between the canal. The canal’s north and southbound has been shut down. By Wednesday morning this lead to more than 300 ships stuck at each end of 120- mile canal, that connects the Mediterranean and red sea carries around 12 percent of the world’s shipping traffic.
On March 29th, 27,000 cubic sand with an 18-meter depth was removed from the container ship. It was partially re-floated and moved about 80% in the right direction. Soon with more effort and the ship was moved, under row towards the Great Bitter Lake, for technical inspection. The canal was unharmed and by the daybreak of 29th March; the shipping resumed.
Although the situation has been resolved for one week, nearly 400 ships were stuck, but what is the big deal about it? Well, the ships which were stuck were Oil Tankers, Bulk Carriers, Container ships, and gas vessels, these ships being stuck there was a huge economical downfall; Brent crude had faced a 3% share of downfall. Global shipment leader Moller Maersk‘s shares were dropped by 9%. Millions of dollars worth of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other food items were waiting to reach their destination before getting spoilt.
The importance of the Suez Canal!
Suez Canal was built to cut the long distance to reach Asian countries, especially India, China, and Japan. It was built to avoid taking a long route of African and it would take months to reach the destination. Nearly 12% of world trade passes through this canal each year and 1/8 of all goods transported by the sea cross this canal. From extensive fruits, coffee to crude oil, everything is transported through the Suez canal.
If the Suez canal would have not been built the tankers carrying crude oils from the middle east to Europe would have to travel an extra 6,000 miles around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding some $3,00,000in fuel costs. Thus is the most strategically and economically friendly passage till now.
Although many commercial businesses are depended on the Suez canal, this incident forced us to think; that is the only best way to transport through the sea, should new canals be built since the narrow space of the canal will ultimately bring forth such difficulties as the size of the ship has been rapidly enlarged. Maybe with augmenting commercialization, our worldwide market needs an alternate canal.