Single ship stuck causing Suez Canal ‘traffic jam’ may cost $9.6 billion per day

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Updated: March 26, 2021 12:02 AM

Refinitiv estimates there are 46 container vessels stopped on either side of the Suez Canal while the number of Bulk Carriers stopped on either side of the Canal is 47.

Suez CanalSo far the loss has been immense for the global trade. (Photo source: Reuters)

The traffic-jam at the Suez Canal caused by a large cargo ship lodged in the waterway could be causing a loss of $9.6 billion per day, according to London based Llyod’s List — a shipping news journal. Lloyd’s List says that their ‘rough calculations’ suggest westbound traffic on the Suez Canal is worth around $5.1 billion daily while eastbound traffic is worth $4.5 billion. So far Ever Given, the Panama-registered container ship that runs 400 meters long, has been blocking the canal vital for world trade for over 48 hours.

Ever Given itself has a dead-weight tonnage of 199,489 tonnes and was fully loaded at the time of the accident. “Based on the tracking data, the vessel was doing a speed of 12.8 kts in the canal just before the incident and seems to have come to a full stop by 05:45 GMT on March 23,” Refinitiv said. According to reports, the efforts to refloat the stuck container ship have not been successful so far. A Bloomberg report earlier today quoted experts saying that the best chance to refloat the ship would come either Sunday or Monday when the tide gets higher.

So far the loss has been immense for the global trade. Data provided by Refinitiv estimates that there are nearly 100 ships stranded on either side of the waterway. Refinitiv estimates there are 46 container vessels stopped on either side of the Suez Canal while the number of Bulk Carriers stopped on either side of the Canal is 47.

The number of tankers stuck owing to the blockage is also high. Refinitiv data points out that currently, tankers carrying at least 1943.201 kilotons of different types of oil and gas are stuck in the Suez Canal. This includes 7 vessels carrying crude oil stuck in the canal with more than 678 kilotons of fuel, followed by 2 diesel carrying vessels, 7 fuel oil carriers. Two vessels carrying Gasoline & Components and Jet Kerosene are also stuck. To add to this, 2 vessels carrying Naphtha are also stuck in the traffic jam. Suez Canal accounts for 12% of world trade by volume.

suez canalPhoto source: Vessel Finder

Crude oil has been volatile owing to such high quantities of cargo being stuck in the waterway, with no timeline for when it would be able to move. “An unlikely course of events has come to the rescue of the oil market in the form of a wayward vessel. Oil rallied on the news of a giant ship blocking the Suez Canal, disrupting a primary supply chain conduit,” said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi.

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