Suez Canal: Why is freeing the blocked ship so complicated? | DW News

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Published on Mar 28, 2021
[One comment on the original post said "You know you've f'd up when the mistake you made can be seen from space".]
Experts are warning it could take weeks to dislodge a huge container ship blocking Egypt's Suez canal. A fresh attempt today to refloat the vessel was not successful. Around 30 percent of the world’s shipping container volume transits through the canal DAILY. More than a hundred and fifty ships are now backed up, waiting to enter the waterway. The Suez Canal opens up a seven thousand kilometer route from Asia to Europe. The only alternative route - around the Horn of Africa - is much longer, but many ships are now opting for that detour. A prolonged closure of the Suez will almost certainly impact global trade, which has already been hit hard by the pandemic.The ship plugging the chokepoint that funnels 30 percent of the global seaborne trade.400 meters long and weighing more than 200,000 tons, the "Ever Given" has become an immovable barrier shutting down Egypt's Suez Canal. With around 10 billion dollars in trade at stake every day, diggers, tugboats, dredgers and a team of Dutch ship salvagers are working day and night to dislodge the vessel. More than 200 ships are caught in the world's longest maritime traffic jam. Some of them are now rerouting their journey around the Cape of Good Hope, a trip almost three times as long. The fear is that consumers will be noticing the delays before long.With the clock ticking, the US is among a growing list of countries offering help to refloat the Ever Given.DW spoke with maritime expert Dr. Sal Mercogliano about how the ship became lodged and what makes freeing it so complicated.


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