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The Suez Canal continues to be blocked in both directions


For those wondering why it is taking so much time to dislodge the Ever Given, this topographic map from shows the dredged shipping lane is only about 2/3 of the channel on the Western side. Seems like 1/3 of the ship is aground.

The Suez Canal passage continues to be blocked in both directions as a container ship operated by Evergreen Marine ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway due to strong winds and sandstorms early Tuesday, March 23.  

Whilst efforts to dislodge the Evergreen vessel from the Suez Canal continue, hundreds of ships are caught up in the traffic in both directions. The Suez Canal has a daily capacity of approximately 50 – 85 vessels, with vessels entering from both sides. This navigation simulation from the official Suez Canal Authority (SCA) illustrates the margins very well.

Once the canal is reopened, convoys would aim to run continuously. They are assessing the current backlog of vessels as of the 27th of March, and it is expected that it would take 3-6 days for the complete queue to pass, conditional to safety and other operational circumstances. As more vessels either reach the blockage or are redirected, this is an estimate and is subject to change. Currently Maersk and partners have 22 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with 4-5 expected to reach the blockage today. 

While ETAs are jeopardized as salvage efforts continue, it is too early to indicate the total delay of stranded vessels.

With files from Maersk