The Most Expensive Traffic Jam in History
On Tuesday March 23, shortly after entering the Suez Canal from the Red Sea, the container ship Ever Given ran aground in the narrowest part of the strait, after which a huge traffic jam of cargo ships formed. It caused a large congestion of container ships unloading. It is the largest vessel ever to run aground in the Suez Canal. Such incidents are generally extremely rare, but can cause significant damage to international trade.
More than a hundred ships are waiting for transit between the Red and Mediterranean Seas, which does not have the best effect on the supply of oil and gas. According to photos from the scene of the incident published on social networks, the ship is standing across the channel. Attempts to deploy it have so far been unsuccessful. But the tugs that arrived at the scene of the emergency continue to try to move the "giant" from its place.
According to the International Ship Positioning System (AIS), a large number of ships have accumulated in the Red Sea south of the Suez Canal, awaiting passage. “At least 100 ships are awaiting transit between the Red and Mediterranean Seas,” a London broker told The Wall Street Journal.
According to Miroslav Zolotarev, Chairman of the Board of the First Russian International Logistics Alliance ACEX: “If the channel, which is the main artery for the movement of goods from Asia to Europe, is blocked, the economic losses will, of course, be colossal. Because any delays in the movement of ships will cause queues, and then the ships will start arriving at the same time, and not on schedule, and this will cause a large congestion of container ships at unloading. Naturally, the ports will be congested. Problems and consequences can be everywhere, and even not at all in the Suez Canal itself, but in the ports of arrival, in the same Italy, Germany, where ships go through the Suez Canal. One hour delay in the Suez Canal could cause delays of days in other ports.”
Recall that, in particular, Russia sends coal to Asia through Taman and the Suez Canal, due to the fact that BAM does not allow a sufficient number of trains to pass by rail.