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Suez Canal - Shipping Update

Thursday 25 March 2021

Suez Canal Cleared!

We, like many other companies worldwide, were pleased to see that after 6 days the Ever Given was re-floated on Monday; to finally clear one of the world's most important trading routes.

The tailback of the reported 369 ships stuck behind the blockage has already begun to move, and is expected to fully clear through the canal in the next few days.

We are in continued conversation with our shipping agents to keep you updated with any potential delays caused from this backlog. 

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The Salvage Operation

A Dutch specialist team, SMIT, oversaw a flotilla of 14 tug boats, small but powerful vessels that can shift large ships, as they tried to pull the Ever Given clear of the banks. Dredgers were also brought in to dig a total of 30,000 cubic metres of mud and sand from beneath the ends of the ship. Battling high winds and sandstorms over the 6 days, it was looking like the containers would have to be unloaded to decrease the weight in order to free the stranded ship. Luckily, the high tide on Monday helped the rescue operation greatly, and firstly the stern of the boat was freed it around around, followed by the bow a few hours later.

The Ever Given has now been pulled to a nearby lake to be cleared by the safety authorities before continuing it's journey. 

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The Economical Challenge to Follow:

The Suez Canal not only attributes to 2% of Egypt's GDP, but it also has a massive impact on global trade, as roughly 12% of all global trade passes through this shipping route. It has been estimated that for each day the canal was blocked, it has lost approximately $15m in revenue. 

It is also estimated that up to a total of almost $10 billion worth of trade passes through the canal on any given day, so the blockage has halted movement of approximately $60 billion worth of cargo over the 6 days. 

Looking at the bigger picture, German insurer Allianz said on Friday its analysis showed the blockage could cost global trade between $6bn to $10bn a week. 

Although the Suez Canal is now clear, it is not clear what impact this will have on the coming weeks and months. 

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