Freight News, Sea

Updated: 34 container ships stuck in Suez

[ March 25, 2021   //   ]

Some 34 container vessels are either immobilized in the Suez canal behind the grounded Ever Given or en route to the zone, totalling 379,200teu of capacity, says the Project44 shipper visibility platform.

It added that, with more than 50 ships passing through the canal on any given day, “the congestion is growing worse by the hour”.

There are however reports that Suez Canal authorities may open an older channel to ease traffic.

Project44 chief executive Jett McCandless, said: “The Suez Canal supports some 10% of global trade – and now the Evergreen vessel has single-handedly put a stop-block in both directions to that vital trade route between Asia and Europe. If they can’t dislodge it with tugs at high tide, they will have to start removing containers to lighten the load and refloat her.”

Analysts MDS Transmodal commented: “The lines could clearly deal with a blockage of the Suez Canal given time to plan and to build additional ships. However, done without warning, ships would be forced to arrive in Europe around 10 days late, impacting on supply chains while adding nearly three weeks to the round-trip time per ship, effectively cutting the carrying capacity of the existing fleet of 583 large container ships that are dedicated to the Asia – Europe market by 20% overnight. That would have a very serious impact on the flows of goods and supply chains.