On March 23rd, the 400m long ULCV (Ultra Large Container Vessel) was 5th in the North-bound convoy of 25 ships when the ship ran aground at Km 151 the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. Smit Salvage and local authorities engaged dredgers, excavators and tugs to assist in dislodging the vessel. At 1305 UTC on March 29th, Skytek’s REACT system captures the “Ever Given” being re-floated with the assistance of the 14 tugs and proceeding slowly under its own power to Great Bitter Lake for underwater inspection and damage assessment.
About 12% of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal, and more than 18,800 ships passed through the Canal during 2020, at an average of 52 vessels per day.
On March 23rd, the REACT system captures 204 ships in the Suez Canal boundaries; by March 29th, the congestion had almost doubled to 407 vessels.
- 40 Crude Oil tankers are waiting to transit the Canal. For example, the Crude Oil Tanker “Elandra Falcon” arrived fully laden on March 23rd from Al Basra Oil Terminal, with one million barrels onboard, valued at around $54million.
- 94 container ships are stranded in the Canal, 17 have a capacity of over 20,000 TEU. For example, 20,000 TEU ULCV “Cosco Capricorn” coming from Antwerp, Belgium, is delayed by at least 5 days to destination Xingang, China.
- Of 108 bulk carriers waiting in the Canal, 13 are over 90,000 DWT and will now be significantly delayed. The 210,896 DWT bulk carrier “Golden Skies” is fully laden with Iron Ore from Canada, estimated at $15m.
- On a voyage from Singapore to Rotterdam, the unavailability of the Suez Canal for transit will add about 30% in time and distance sailed, which, for a ship such as “Ever Given” in size, will incur nearly a quarter of a million USD in expenses for fuel spent, about 15% increase in the CO2 footprint, and more than a week delay in ship’s readiness for a subsequent voyage.
- Skytek’s REACT system maps that more than 30 ships have re-routed to sail around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. The impact is as follows for a ship such as the “MSC Sindy” the planned voyage of 13.8 days has increased to 27.1 days sailing around Africa, with an additional
$600,000 in fuel expenses.