The huge traffic jam of 422 ships in the Suez Canal has come to an end as the last stranded vessels have sailed through the canal. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) reports this. On Saturday, the last 61 stranded ships still in line made use of the canal in Egypt.
Shipping traffic through the Suez Canal came to a standstill on 23 March as the 400 meter long container ship Ever Given ran aground and blocked the canal. The ship could be Monday pulled loose and towed away. Shortly afterwards, the canal was reopened to navigation in both directions.
More than 10 percent of world trade is transported through the Suez Canal, a crucial route for trade between China and Europe. Normally, the SCA processes about fifty ships per day. The canal authority had to increase that number to about ninety ships in order to eliminate the backlogs caused by the traffic jam, writes Bloomberg.
The fact that there are no more ships in line does not mean that all problems have been solved. According to container carrier Maersk, it can take weeks to months until the logistics in shipping are fully restored restored is. Blokker and Zeeman, among others, announced earlier that they were taking delayed goods into account.
On Friday evening, SCA chairman Osama Rabie announced that the channel authority has started an investigation into the cause of the crash of the Ever Given. Possible causes have so far been sought in the strong wind and human error. Rabie expects to announce the results of the study within a few days.
The SCA previously estimated the total damage from the blockade at a minimum of 1 billion dollars, converted to 850 million euros. It is not yet known who has to pay for this. It can take years to settle the damage, stated lawyers earlier against NU.nl.