Ten facts about the Suez Canal blockage
By Tasie Theodore
- The Suez Canal blockage began on Tuesday last week and the specific vessel that is caught up in the middle of the storm is Ever Given. It is registered in Taiwan and at the time of the incident was loaded with 18, 300 tonnes of cargo.
- Some 12% of global trade, broken into about one million barrels of oil and approximately 8% of liquefied natural gas daily passes through the canal.
- The canal generates revenues of about $14m-$15m daily and before the pandemic, was contributing as much as 2% of Egypt’s GDP.
- Some 450 ships had been caught up in the blockage as at Monday
- With the Ever Given now partially refloated, estimates are that the canal would be fully open to traffic before the close of Monday.
- The alternative to the Suez Canal for shippers involves going around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope which involves an additional ten days navigation time along with the attendant costs.
- The canal was first opened in 1869 and then expanded in 2015.
- An investigation is already underway to determine the cause of the blockage.
- Estimates of losses incurred in the one week blockage time are already as high as $6 to $10billion.
- The final lesson: in a globalised world, every dot connects.