Suez Canal shipping backlog cleared | News | DW | 03.04.2021

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Suez Canal shipping backlog cleared

More than 400 vessels were backed up after the giant container ship Ever Given ran aground, blocking the busy waterway.

Ships are seen at the entrance of the Suez Canal, Egypt

Over 400 ships were stopped from crossing the canal after one vessel got stuck

The backlog of ships in the Suez Canal, caused by the grounding of the giant container vessel Ever Given in the waterway, has been cleared, Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Saturday.

A queue of 422 ships had built up by the time the Ever Given was refloated, six days after getting stuck and blocking the key global shipping route on March 23.

The last 61 ships passed through the canal linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea on Saturday.

In total, 85 ships had been due to pass through the canal on Saturday, including 24 ships that arrived after Ever Given was dislodged, the SCA said.

How did the Ever Given get stuck?

An SCA investigation began on Wednesday into what caused the vessel to run aground in the canal, the canal authority's chairman, Osama Rabie, told the MBC Masr private TV late on Friday.

"The investigation is going well and will take two more days, then we will announce the results," he added.

The impact of the blockage

The blockage held up some $9 billion (€7.6 billion) in global trade each day since the ship became wedged in the canal.

At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal last year.

The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt's main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion last year.

kmm/mm(Reuters, AFP)