One of the largest cargo container ships in the world has turned sideways and blocked all traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal, threatening to disrupt a global shipping system already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.
The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged container ship that carries trade between Asia and Europe, became grounded on Tuesday in the man-made waterway dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.
Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the Suez Canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.
Here are the latest updates:
10 seconds ago (11:54 GMT)Egypt’s Suez Canal: A history of the key route
Egypt’s Suez Canal opened 150 years ago. Since then, it has been regularly expanded and modernised and today is capable of accommodating some of the world’s largest supertankers.
Here is a look back at key stages in the enlargement of the waterway, which handles roughly 10 percent of international maritime trade.
2 mins ago (11:52 GMT)Container ship partially refloated: Port agent GAC
The container ship has been partially refloated in the canal and traffic is expected to resume soon, port agent GAC told Reuters.
Workers are seen near the Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal [Handout: Suez Canal Authority via Reuters]Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it was working to refloat the ship, with the authority’s chairman saying older sections of the canal were being opened in a bid to ease the bottleneck of backed-up marine traffic.
35 mins ago (11:19 GMT)Oil prices climb over Suez blockage
Oil prices climbed as investors assessed the impact on global crude flows after the ship ran aground, Bloomberg reported.
Here’s the full story: Suez canal blockage sends oil prices rebounding after sell-off
37 mins ago (11:17 GMT)Ten crude tankers could be affected by Suez Canal blockage
Ten tankers carrying 13 million barrels of crude could be affected after a container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking vessels passing through, oil analytics firm Vortexa said on Wednesday.
The approximate rate of backlog is about 50 vessels a day and any delays leading to re-routings would add 15 days to a Middle East-to-Europe voyage, Vortexa told Reuters news agency.
The uncertainty over the blockage sent oil prices up, as investors tried assessed the impact on the global crude market.
39 mins ago (11:15 GMT)‘Strong winds’ behind ship’s stranding: official
A Egyptian official, who spoke to The Associate Press news agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to brief journalists, blamed a strong wind in the area for the incident.
Egyptian forecasters said high winds and a sandstorm plagued the area on Tuesday, with winds gusting as much as 50km/h (31 mph).
Egypt’s Alexandria and Dekheila ports, which both lie along the Mediterranean, were closed on Wednesday due to poor weather conditions, the Alexandria Port Authority said in a statement.
Al Jazeera and News agencies