"Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
-John A. Shedd
Ever Given, an ultra-large Golden class container ship became stuck in the Suez Canal on 23 March 2021 at 05:30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The boat, operated by Evergreen Marine, was en route from Malaysia to the Netherlands when it ran aground after winds allegedly blew the ship off course. Egyptian authorities, who own and operate the canal, are investigating.
|Ever Given container ship, stuck in the Suez Canal.
(C) University of Miami
The Ever Given, a ship as long as the Empire State Building is tall, completely blocked the canal for six days. After being freed and refloated on 29 March, the Ever Given made way for a backlog of over 400 ships to pass through the canal.
However, with a seizure of the Ever Given by Egyptian authorities and a pending $1 billion fine, the ship isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Time is money
Where is the Suez Canal?
The canal cuts through Egypt, linking the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Red Sea in the south. It's one of the world's best-known and most important waterways. Last year, nearly 19,000 vessels passed through the canal carrying 1.2 billion tons of cargo. Around 13% of maritime trade passes through the Suez Canal, including a large proportion of the world's oil. (Suez Canal Authority; The Wall Street Journal)
|The Suez Canal.