Backlog of queued ships cleared at Suez Canal

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is pulled by tugboats in Egypt's Suez Canal on Monday. The backlog of ships caused by the Ever Given's becoming lodged in the canal. Photo courtesy of the Suez Canal Authority Office

April 3 (UPI) — A backlog of hundreds of ships have finally passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal days after a grounded 200,000-pound container was freed from the shoreline, local officials said Saturday.

The Suez Canal Authority said some 85 ships were expected to pass through the canal in both directions Saturday, including the last 61 that had been waiting for the Ever Given, which was dislodged Monday.

“All waiting ships crossed the shipping course today,” Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, said.

About 422 ships queued up, waiting to pass through the vital waterway after the Panama-flagged Ever Given got jammed up diagonally across the southern part of the canal during a sandstorm on March 23.

The disruption to the world’s supply chain may take months to resolve, experts predict.

With the blockage, some ships were forced to take an alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope, an additional 3,100 miles. The Suez Canal is the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe and connects the Mediterranean and Red seas.

Rabie told MBC Masr on Friday that the SCA was investigating the circumstances that led to the Ever Given becoming lodged in the canal.

“The investigation is going well and will take two more days, then we will announce the results,” he said.


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