28th March 2021: The ship that continues to be stuck in the midst of the Suez Canal has already affected global oil prices and in turn, other commodity prices.
In the process this event has unveiled the very vulnerabilities inherent in the connected world of today. A failure at one point has set off a chain reaction that is relentlessly affecting global supply chains. 12% of the world’s trading commodities pass through the Suez Canal, that revolutionised trade that had once taken the much longer route round the Cape of Good Hope in the days of the voyages of discovery.
Egypt has been working tirelessly on the attempt to dislodge the ship that has blocked the canal as 300 cargo ships wait behind it to pass through. The high tide adds to the difficulty. Salvage teams have brought in 14 tug boats. A small victory has been gained in turning the ship around by 30 degrees. There has also been an attempt at dredging sand underneath it to try and dislodge it.
There is a fear that if all else fails, then the salvage teams will have to try to lighten the load by one by one removing the containers from it. While it may sound straightforward in principle, it will take weeks to achieve this while in the meantime, global trade and economy continue to take a big hit.
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