Suez Canal Reopens for Traffic After Container Ship Refloated

Clearing the traffic jam of 425 ships stuck will take more than three days, the canal authority said.

1 min read
In the photo released by Suez Canal Authority, the Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship is pulled by one of the Suez Canal tugboats, in the Suez Canal, Egypt on 29 March.

Almost a week after the the 400-metre-long container ship got stuck and blocked a major artery for global trade, ‘Ever Given’ was refloated and the Suez Canal reopened to traffic on Monday, 29 March.

Tugboat crews sounded their foghorns in celebration after the Japanese-owned megaship, the length of four football fields, was fully dislodged from the sandy banks of the Suez.

Oil prices eased as one of the most significant waterways, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Sea, reopened.

According to the canal authority, Admiral Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), had around 3pm local time "announced the resumption of shipping traffic in the Suez Canal”, Reuters reported.

As per the SCA, clearing the traffic jam of 425 ships stuck at the northern and southern ends of the canal will take more than three days.

Lloyd's List, a maritime data company informed that the blockage had held up an estimated $9.6 billion worth of cargo each day between Asia and Europe, Reuters reported.

The Suez Canal serves as a crucial waterway for international trade, with vessels carrying everything, from crude oil to consumer goods. It also provides one of Egypt's main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

As per the canal authority, Egypt lost some $12-14 million in revenues each day since the ship was stuck, Reuters reported.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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