On Tuesday, March 23 the container vessel Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal and became wedged, blocking vessel traffic entirely. More than 150 vessels are backed up while hundreds more continue to move toward the canal every day. Despite efforts to dislodge the vessel with tugboats, dredgers, and even backhoe equipment, the vital waterway remains blocked.
Officials state that while the vessel weight is too heavy to push or pull the vessel loose, they hope to avoid offloading containers to lighten the load. That operation could take days or weeks, officials warned.
According to recent statistics, $3 billion worth of goods typically traverse the canal every day, with more than 150 ships now in a holding pattern on either side of the waterway.
Experts warn the obstruction to such a major waterway will have ripple effects throughout an already troubled industry, including unplanned sailing cancellations. Transportation through the canal will be suspended for the foreseeable future.
OTS will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. if you have any questions, please reach out to your OTS Sales Representative.