A container ship became jammed within Egypt’s Suez Canal on Tuesday, bringing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes to a grinding halt. The blunder has seen the giant container ship straddle both lanes of the narrow passage, causing large tailbacks as ships attempt to cross between the Mediterranean and the Red sea. Regional expert Dr Laleh Khalili has warned that the delays to international shipping will accrue a hefty cost down the line.
Addressing the possibility of ships taking an alternative route, Dr Khalili told Sky News: “The longer route is of course around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.
“Arrive at least three weeks later and if the ships are already sitting in the Mediterranean at the head of the canal or in the Red Sea at the bottom of the canal, they are not going to want to turn around and come out and go all the way around the continent of Africa in order to get to the destination their going to.
“There is questions of fueling, there are questions of staffing, there is a question of the length of time it is going to take.
“So that is going to be quite a big issue.”
The Suez Canal was only blocked one other time since its opening – when the Egyptian Government nationalised the passage and sparked the so-called Suez Crisis.
More to follow