The aftermath of the Suez Canal blockage caused by the stranding of the Ever Given has thrown the global shipping industry into weeks if not months of disruption, according to leading container shipping lines.
“Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant,” the world’s largest container shipping company Maersk said in a customer advisory on Monday.
Maersk has three vessels stuck in the canal and another 29 waiting to enter, it said, adding that it had so far rerouted 15 vessels to sail south of Africa instead.
“Assessing the current backlog of vessels, it could take six days or more for the complete queue to pass,” it said.
MSC said separately on Saturday the situation was “going to result in one of the biggest disruptions to global trade in recent years”.
“Unfortunately, even when the canal re-opens for the huge backlog of ships waiting at anchorage this will lead to a surge in arrivals at certain ports and we may experience fresh congestion problems,” Caroline Becquart, senior vice president with MSC said in a statement.
“We envisage the second quarter of 2021 being more disrupted than the first three months, and perhaps even more challenging than it was at the end of last year.”