Suez Canal blockage reportedly costing $400 million an hour, could last ‘weeks’

Suez Canal blockage reportedly costing $400 million an hour, could last ‘weeks’

25 Mar    Finance News

A massive container ship is still stuck in the Suez Canal — and the situation could possibly take “weeks” to resolve.

On Tuesday morning, the Ever Given, a cargo ship that’s about a quarter mile long, became stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking shipping traffic. By Thursday, it had yet to be successfully moved, and according to Axios, “about 100 ships are stuck in the canal waiting to pass through.” Bloomberg also reports that a “rough estimate” based on information from Lloyd’s List indicates that “the blockage is costing about $400 million an hour,” as westbound traffic is reportedly worth about $5.1 billion a day, while eastbound traffic is worth about $4.5 billion a day.

The ship could potentially be there for a while longer, too. The Financial Times quotes the chief executive of Boskalis, which is involved in the ongoing rescue operation, as saying, “The more secure the ship is, the longer an operation will take. It can take days to weeks. Bringing in all the equipment we need, that’s not around the corner.” At the very least, it sounds like the blockage might last a few more days, as Bloomberg reports that “the best chance for freeing the ship may not come until Sunday or Monday, when the tide will reach a peak.”

Ultimately, economist John Glen told the Financial Times that “if goods have to be rerouted via Africa due to the blockage this could add as much as 10 days to delivery times for UK businesses,” and “if this does happen it will inevitably lead to shortages of goods and inflationary price rises for consumers.” And The New York Times writes that the shipping and supply industry is waiting to find out if this all will “amount to a couple of days’ minor inconvenience, or something worse.”

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