Suez ship congestion could delay 10 LNG deliveries to Europe, analysts say

Shipping containers

The ship, owned by Japanese firm Shoei Kisen KK, has blocked traffic in the canal, leaving dozens of smaller ships stranded in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

It's estimated the blockage may take longer than expected to clear, with a possibility the process could take weeks amid bad weather.

At the moment, around 10 tugboats and two dredger vessels are involved in the operation, working around the clock to refloat the vessel.

He said there was still a lot of work to be done on board his ship, and that he and his fellow crewmembers had not yet had a chance to communicate with the other vessels.

Around 10 percent of world trade flows through the canal, which is particularly crucial for the transport of oil.

An alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, can take two weeks longer.

The shipping journal said two major companies, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, were looking into whether to re-route their vessels.

At least 237 ships were waiting for the Ever Given to be cleared, including vessels near Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea, Port Suez on the Red Sea and those already stuck on a lake mid-canal, said Leth Agencies, which provides services for the canal.

The Suez Canal Authority said it welcomed global offers of help, including one from the United States, although it did not say what was offered. While a company might know it has a product sitting on a ship that's stopped, the impact of delays down the line are unknown. For the next eight years, ships that would have gone via the canal were forced to take the long way round.

Arrangements are also being made for high-capacity pumps to reduce the water levels in the vessel's forward void space and the bow thruster room. "So ships are created to flex, but not to be kept at that position with a full load of cargo for weeks at a time. So it's not an easy situation".

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Crude prices jumped by nearly six percent Wednesday in response to the canal blockage. Singapore's Minister of Transport Ong Ye Kung said the country's port should expect disruptions.

"Should that happen, some draw down on inventories will become necessary", he said on Facebook.

Analysts have warned that the ongoing blockage in the Suez Canal is likely to have significant repercussions for global supply chains, which have already been under strain since the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.

It's unclear how the massive vessel turned sideways, its bow pressed against the eastern wall and its stern wedged in to the canal's western wall.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. However, since Tuesday the waterway has been blocked by a container carrier named the Ever Given.

The canal extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez.

"When a vessel runs aground Suez Canal officials are alone empowered to order and direct all operations required to get the vessel afloat", according to the Suez Canal Authority Rules of Navigation. No passengers were on the ferry at the time and there were no injuries, but it was seriously damaged.

Hamburg prosecutors opened an investigation of the freighter's captain and pilot on suspicion of endangering shipping traffic but shelved it in March 2020 for lack of evidence, spokesperson Liddy Oechtering told The Associated Press on Friday.

There has been no suggestion from officials that this particular pattern was anything other than accidental.

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