Egypt's Suez Canal blocked by large container ship. Cargo ships, tankers pileup

The 400-metre long and 59 metre-wide cargo ship the Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal on Tuesday

In 2015, the Suez Canal underweight an $8.5 billion expansion to accommodate the ships and to set-up a two-way traffic headed both north and south - but its owners never envisioned one of those mega-ships blocking the whole route, experts said.

"This is the largest vessel ever to go aground in the Suez Canal", he told the news organization.

Historic sections of the canal have been reopened in a bid to ease the bottleneck of backed up marine traffic.

The 193-kilometre-long man-made passage connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Shipping monitors MarineTraffic recorded that the vessel had been in the same position since at least Tuesday afternoon. "If it lasts longer, it can lead to shipment delays both ways", said a Singapore-based ship broker.

It usually takes between 12 and 16 hours for a ships to transit through the canal.

The ultra large container ship Ever Given has a carrying capacity of 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and was en route from Yantian, China, to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands when it reportedly ran aground Tuesday morning.

Photographs released by the SCA also showed excavators onshore digging soil from the canal's bank, with the earth-moving equipment dwarfed by the giant hull towering above.

Cargo ships and oil tankers appear to be lining up at the southern end of the Suez Canal, waiting to pass through the waterway to the Mediterranean Sea, according to MarineTraffic data.

"There have been no reports of injuries or pollution", he added. It was identified as the Ever Given and left Egypt's Suez Port (Port Tawfiq) late Monday night after spending almost 24 hours there.

Julianne Cona, who was aboard the Maersk Denver directly behind the Ever Given, shared an image of the vessel on Instagram.

Workers are seen next to a container ship which was hit by strong wind and ran aground in Suez Canal, on March 24, 2021. "Looks like we might be here for a little bit".

The Ever Given is 400 metres long and 59 metres wide.

A waterway crucial to global trade is now blocked by a massive container ship, causing a traffic jam that could last days. Suez Canal authorities have yet to publicly comment on the situation, the Associated Press reported.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi unveiled plans in 2015 for an expansion created to reduce waiting times and double the number of ships using the canal daily by 2023.

On a daily basis, up to about 600,000 barrels of crude flow from the Middle East to Europe and the USA via the canal, while volumes from the Atlantic Basin to Asia total about 850,000 barrels a day, according to Mr Anoop Singh, head of East of Suez tanker research at Braemar ACM Shipbroking.

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