After 6 days of halted traffic, operations have finally resumed at the Suez Canal. The 20,388-TEU capacity Ever Given was cleared from the canal on Monday after efforts by tugboats, sand dredgers, and salvage companies successfully refloated the container vessel. Satellite data confirms reports that the Ever Given is now moving through the canal, along with other traffic.
During the closure, more than 350 other vessels backed up waiting to use the vital shipping route. It remains in question when the backlog will be cleared and traffic will resume normal flow, however some experts estimate it could take more than 10 days to return to normal. Unfortunately, ripple effects from this disruption will be felt for weeks in an already troubled industry, where schedule reliability has become a critical issue. Several major ports in the US and UK are experiencing heavy congestion, and a wave of incoming vessels released through the Suez route will exacerbate those problems. Vessels which chose to divert around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Suez Canal will face different challenges, including 2- to 4-week longer schedules and hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fuel expenses.
OTS will continue to monitor this situation and will update our customers accordingly. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your OTS Sales Representative.