POP! Suez Canal unblocked after six days with huge bottleneck of cargo ships waiting to go through

Egypt Suez Canal Stuck Container Ship Refloating
Rescue ships pull the Ever Given free from the bank

THE Suez Canal was finally cleared yesterday (Monday March 29) after being blocked by the 400-metre and 220,000-tonne cargo ship Ever Given for six days.

Maritime transport could finally resume in the afternoon, as queues of hundreds of ships had formed at both ends of the channel in an incident that posed a severe threat to international commerce.

Estimates suggest that the blockage cost more than €8 billion in losses every day, and that it will take between three and seven days to clear the backlog on the route that accounts for 25% of global maritime cargo transport.

Egypt Suez Canal Stuck Container Ship Refloating
Rescue ships pull the Ever Given free from the bank

As businesses and authorities worldwide breathe a collective sigh of relief, port managers are now struggling to make up for lost time.

In Valencia, the collapse is said to affect 25,000 containers that will reportedly take until mid-April to ship.

Port organisers are coordinating with administrations, border control authorities and private companies to find solutions to the huge backlog of goods due to pass through the city over the next few days.

Transport through the Suez Canal is said to account for one third of all operations at Valencia port, involving an average of 4,000 movements every day.

The trades most affected by the transport collapse include ceramics from Castellon Province, farming and agriculture, motor manufacturing, oil and natural gas.

Egypt Suez Canal Cargo Container Aground Rescue
The most famous image of the rescue operation

Valencian president Ximo Puig has met with national and regional authorities to assess the problem and find solutions.

Puig used the opportunity to highlight the vital importance of maritime transport to the economy of the autonomous community, adding that Valencia, Alicante and Castellon ports will receive a total investment of €146 million this year to boost their role within Spain.

The overhaul will also include €15 million to regenerate the coastline, including the restoration of beaches south of Valencia city plus Gandia, Castellon city and Almassora.

Glenn Wickman

Glenn is a trained and experienced journalist, having obtained a BA Hons degree in Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish from Middlesex University (London) in 2001.
Since then he has worked on several English-language newspapers in Alicante Province, including 11 years at the Costa Blanca News.
He is trilingual in English, Spanish and Catalán/Valenciano, a qualified ELT teacher and translator with a passion for the written word.
After several years in Barcelona, Glenn has now returned to the Costa Blanca (Alicante), from where he will cover local stories as well as Valencia and Castellón/Costa Azahar.
Please drop him a line if you have any news that you think should be covered in either of these areas, he will gladly get in touch!

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