Ship blocking Suez Canal like 'beached whale' could be stuck for weeks

The Suez Canal built in 1869 is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea

The Suez Canal built in 1869 is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea

If the obstruction is not resolved soon, the company could be held liable for lost revenue by the Suez Canal Authority, as well as for damages incurred by other ships.

The Suez Canal was opened in 1869 and was extended in 2015.

Salvage experts warned the shut-down could last days or even weeks, potentially forcing businesses to re-route cargo ships around the southern tip of Africa in a blow to global supply networks.

The global container shortage has been driven by a surge in online shopping and a Chinese export boom after the country suppressed the initial wave of the pandemic. Shipping giant Maersk said in a customer advisory it had seven vessels affected.

Konrad said it could be as bad as an incident in 2016 in which the CSCL Indian Ocean, another mega container ship as large as the Ever Given, ran aground in the River Elbe on approach to Hamburg, Germany. "When these ships do arrive in Europe, there will inevitably be longer waiting times".

Operators of the 400-meter cargo ship Ever Given - the size of skyscraper - say it lost power as it encountered strong winds and ran aground sideways as it headed into the Suez Canal from the Red Sea Tuesday.

Mr Berdowski said the ship's bow and stern had been lifted up against either side of the canal. However, satellite photos taken Thursday by Planet Labs Inc. and analyzed by The Associated Press showed the vessel still stuck in the same location.

The Suez drastically shortens travel between Asia and Europe.

Japanese firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha, owner of the wedged MV Ever Given, which is more than 1,300 feet long, apologized for the inconvenience caused Thursday, saying it was "working hard to resolve the situation", but added circumstances were "extremely difficult".

Ship-tracking software shows that the Ever Given has made only minor changes to its position over the past 24 hours, despite the deployment of several tugs to drag it to deeper water. If you've been following the Ever Given's plight and the determined efforts of those working to free it, you now know about things like "suction dredgers", which might be useful for a laugh.

Bernhard Schulte said there was no mechanical or engine failure.

Wood Mackenzie vice president Ann-Louise Hittle noted that oil prices rose by about $2 per barrel on the news of the blockage but added that stocks of both crude and products are high in the Atlantic basin.

Overall, famed shipping journal Lloyd's List estimates each day the Suez Canal is closed disrupts over $9 billion worth of goods that should be passing through the waterway.

Chairman of Suez Canal Osama Rabie said that sailing in the global waterway will be allowed for a whole day once the ship floats in order to make it up for ships whose crossing got delayed. "That's the disconnect and that's going to take between six and 12 months".

At times, China has been exporting three containers for each one imported as firms seized market share from rivals in hard-hit countries overseas.

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