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Explanatory. What do we know about the ship blocking the Suez Canal?

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – The giant trunk and tug of war look a bit like most of a cargo ship, showing the enormous amount of challenge available. The Suez Canal created a major congestion on one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

The tugboats and diggers worked on Thursday as more than 150 ships carrying loads on schedule to destinations around the world remained stranded at both ends of the canal that connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Throughout its 150-year history, the Suez Canal in Egypt has seen wars and crises, but nothing reminiscent of what ever happened.

HOWEVER?

It remains cloudy. The ship entered the canal from the Red Sea on Tuesday morning, and 45 minutes later the water dissipated.

The ship’s operator was blamed by Egyptian officials for gusts of up to 50 kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour), as well as a storm sweeping the area.

Cargo ships have increased in recent years to carry more containers as fuel prices have risen as larger boats burn less fuel per container. Some have wondered when ultra-large size is a factor.

While overcrowding can increase the risk of drowning in the Suez Canal, winds have pushed just as many boats through the waterway as never before.

Instead, he probably played a “combination of factors,” says Ian Woods, a shipping lawyer for Clyde & Co. partner of the firm.

“There is the impact of the elements, the potential for energy loss, the likelihood of having management problems,” Woods said. “We expected a full investigation.”

The obstruction may be a disgrace to Egypt, where the waterway has long been a symbol of national pride. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has poured $ 8.2 billion into a grand canal widening that opened in 2015. However, Ever Given sank to the south of that new segment.

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HOW WILL THIS HAPPEN?

Until now, drains and tug-of-war have not been able to free the ship. The Experimental Rescue Squad, which was tasked with responding to shipwrecks, flew into the canal from the Netherlands on Thursday.

It already seems that the ship’s mass weight of about 220,000 tons may make it impossible to move and swim. To lighten the cargo, the team says they may have to remove at least some of the vessel’s containers, drain the ballast vessel before further watering the area, and then try to use the vessel with the trunks.

Officials have previously stated that they do not want to do this, as the unloading itself could take days or weeks.

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WHY YOU CAN

More than 10% of world trade, including 7% of world oil, passes through the Trade Channel. After the blockade, the price of Brent international crude oil rose by about 3% to $ 63 a barrel.

Goods passing through the canal usually move from east to west. In addition to oil, liquefied natural gas from the Persian Gulf – furniture, clothing from China – the basics of the supermarket use the canal to avoid the 5,000-kilometer bypass route to Africa.

Delivery magazine Lloyd’s List estimates that the closed pipeline links billions of dollars worth of goods every day to the closure of the canal, at a time when the coronavirus epidemic is already causing a surge in consumer demand.

Delivery will not only be delayed, but will also prevent the return of empty containers to Asia, exacerbating the shortage of containers caused by disruptions in the delivery epidemic.

“It’s almost like a ketchup bottle,” said Lars Ensensen, CEO of SeaIntelligence Consulting. “The higher it goes, the greater the risk that we will see major congestion problems in European ports.”

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What is the reaction of the world?

While the real consequences of the blockade are serious, many noted the absurdity of the situation in the seemingly endless flood of social media memes.

In one of the viral posts, the giant ship was labeled “my tasks”, and the relatively unpleasant transformer was labeled “me, dutifully removing my tasks”. In one, the ship was “your first draft,” and the drill was “the editors.”

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Follow Isabel DeBre on Twitter at www.twitter.com/isabeldebre.

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