A freighter 400 meters long and 224,000 tonnes ran aground on Tuesday (23), blocking the passage of other ships on the Suez Canal, one of the most important waterways in the world.
According to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, was trapped after losing steering ability when struck by high winds and a storm sand.
Eight tugs were trying to get Ever Given back on its way to clear the passage of the canal. According to the GAC, a port agency that monitors naval traffic, the site is expected to be made public later on Wednesday (24).
About 12% of world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal, which connects Europe and Asia and is located in Egypt. At least 30 ships which came after Ever Given ê three in the opposite direction were stranded, while 15 other ships had their routes interrupted and stopped at other anchorages to wait for the passage to be cleared.
According to the company BSM, responsible for Ever Given, the ship ran aground in the channel around 2:40 a.m. Tuesday (Brasilia time). An investigation into the factors that led to the incident is underway, the company said, adding that all crew are safe.
Tracking maps showed the ship stuck in the southernmost stretch of the canal, near the port of Suez on the Red Sea. The SAC issued a statement reassuring the companies responsible for the other vessels and said it was sparing no effort with “the navigation movement through the channel and its return to regularity.”
In addition to being 400 meters long – taller than the height of the Empire State Building, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world – Ever Given is 59 meters wide and has the capacity to carry up to 20,000 containers. .
In the year 2020, nearly 19,000 ships passed through the Suez Canal, an average of 51.5 ships per day and a total of 1.17 billion tonnes of cargo, according to data from SCA.
Analysts interviewed by Reuters news agency warn that the Ever Given incident could lead to congestion at European ports next week. The impact on oil flows – which have already started to rise in prices – and gas will depend on how long it takes for the channel to return to normal.