Shipping traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal resumed on Monday after a giant container ship which had been blocking the busy waterway for almost a week was re-floated, the canal authority said.
At least 369 vessels are waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas vessels, Admiral Osama Rabie, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said.
The authority said earlier it would be able to accelerate convoys through the canal once the Ever Given was freed. “We will not waste one second,” Rabie told Egyptian state television.
He said it could take up to three days to clear the backlog, and a canal source said more than 100 ships would be able to enter the channel daily. Shipping group Maersk said the knock-on disruptions to global shipping could take weeks or months to unravel.
About 15% of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, which is an important source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt. The stoppage was costing the canal $14-15 million a day.
Shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship became stranded, and the blockage has disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for companies already dealing with COVID-19 restrictions.
Maersk was among shippers rerouting cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope, adding up to two weeks to journeys and extra fuel costs.