Suez Canal: What impact will blockage have on global trade?

The world’s most vital trade artery is blocked by a 224,000-ton container ship, leading to a build-up of traffic that could cause major problems if it is not cleared soon, according to shipping experts.

“Even the slightest delay in traffic can result in congestion and disturb the delivery of goods and commodities on both sides,” according to analysts at S&P Global Platts.

The most important factor determining the severity of any delays will be how quickly the vessel, Ever Given, can be removed.

It has been partially re-floated and industry figures said they expect it to be removed swiftly, allowing congestion to ease.

Why is the canal so important for trade?

The 120-mile-long canal between the Red Sea and Mediterranean is the shortest route between Asia and Europe. Around 1.2 billion tons passed through the canal on 19,000 ships in 2019 – roughly one eighth of all goods transported by sea that year.

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