Published: Wed, March 31, 2021
Medical | By

Suez Canal works to clear backlog as shipping convoys resume

Suez Canal works to clear backlog as shipping convoys resume

"The key risk of this previously stuck giant vessel is the disruption of global supply chains already reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic", Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist of the UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc., told BusinessWorld in an e-mail on Tuesday.

The Ever Given's stranding across a southern section of the canal forced a halt to all traffic, leading to a build-up of 422 ships at either end of the canal and along its course.

Ships are moving again in the Suez Canal, the crucial maritime trade route that was blocked for nearly a week.

"They are trying to rush ships through the canal, which will have knock-on effects at the ports that are their destinations because they will be congested". It will then take "around three and a half days" to clear the backlog, he said.

Shipping group Maersk has also said disruptions to worldwide shipping could last for months. The estimated value of the cargo that had been held up by its closure was $89 billion, Hoffmann said.

Rabie has said the SCA will look at giving discounts to shippers affected by the stoppage.

Lim asserted that the incident has once again proven to the world how important the Suez Canal is to world trade.

He also said the canal was reinforcing its technical capabilities by bringing in more tug boats and dredging machinery.

Rabie said daily losses of the canal due to the six-day blockage caused by the Ever Given ship is estimated at 12-15 million US dollars.

Chairman Osama Rabie has suggested weather conditions, including high winds, and human error could have played a role in the grounding on March 23.

The results of the investigation could have major legal repercussions, as various parties seek to recoup the costs of the repairs to the ship and the canal, as well as the salvage operation and delays to other vessels.

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