Suez Canal Update 25th March 2021

The Suez Canal is probably the most critical piece of water in the world, with over 50 ships a day passing though

Last year 18,829 ships went through the canal with 1.2 billion tonnes of cargo plus the 1.9 Million Barrels of oil routed through the Suez each day.

And right now, it is blocked.

The Ever Given has not moved since it ran aground 151 km north in the Suez Canal at 05:40 hrs GMT on Tuesday, March 23 2021.

There have been reports that the Ever Given has been moved, but other sources say it has not moved at all, and the Suez Canal authorities are struggling to move the 200,000-tonne, 400m ship capable of carrying 20,000 containers.

Shipping lines that use the canal will now have to decide to wait for Ever Given to be moved and the canal to reopen or reroute around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the canal.

“All shipping companies, therefore, have to weigh their options right now,” Sea Intelligence Consulting chief executive Lars Jensen wrote on LinkedIn.

“How long do they expect this process to take? If they are optimistic on the timeframe, they should proceed as per normal and just get delayed a few days.”

If they were more pessimistic about the outcome, they should already be contemplating diverting vessels around Africa on Asia-northern Europe and Asia-US east coast services, he added.

“This will take approximately one week more than the Suez routing — and burn more fuel. In the pessimistic case, however, there is another effect. The longer the canal is closed, the larger a queue of vessels will be lined up to transit.

This will create a backlog meaning that there will be additional waiting times even when the canal does reopen.”

A similar ship, the CSCL Indian Ocean, took six days to re-float when it was grounded in 2016 in the Elbe near Hamburg.  Her fuel was unloaded, and she was finally freed, February 9, six days later, during the next spring tide. Twelve tugboats were required to assist in releasing her. Two dredgers had helped cut away at the sandbank near the grounding.

So, what does this mean?

Inevitably any ships waiting to go through the canal will be delayed, and rerouting some ships will not be an option. Adding at least seven days (right now)

There are potentially some positives. The delays will give some backlogged EU and UK ports a respite, enabling them to catch up on unloading ships sitting an anchorage, but like a cork exploding, there will suddenly be an influx of ships when the Suez reopens.

There is nothing we can do to expedite any shipments once they are onboard, so right now, it’s a waiting game for everyone.


Efforts to free the stuck ship Ever Given could last weeks, the head of a salvaging firm has warned.

Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of Boskalis, a salvaging company involved in the operation, told the Dutch television programme Nieuwsuur on Wednesday evening: “The more secure the ship is, the longer an operation will take. It can take days to weeks. Bringing in all the equipment we need, that’s not around the corner.”

Sources: & Lloyds Loading List



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