Here is why and how world’s most important trade route that connects Europe to Asia is blocked   

A huge cargo ship has blocked the Suez Canal since early Tuesday and the shipping experts believe it could take days or even weeks to free the 224,000-ton vessel that is wedged across the Suez Canal

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NH Web Desk

A massive cargo ship has blocked the Suez Canal since early Tuesday and the shipping experts believe it could take days or even weeks to free the 224,000-ton vessel that is wedged across the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal is one of the world's most important trade routes and provides a vital shipping route that connects Europe to Asia.

With the jam not yet close to being cleared and the chance that it could take weeks to dislodge the ship, let's see how it is affecting the world and why it should be cleared as early as possible.

Where is the Suez Canal?

The canal is in Egypt, connecting Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the southern Egyptian city of Suez on the Red Sea.

How the blocking can get costly

At least 160 ships carrying vital fuel and cargo are waiting to pass through the blocked waterway.

The vessel measures 400 meters long and 59 meters wide.

Roughly 30% of the world's shipping container volume transits through the 193 kilometer (120 mile) Suez Canal daily and about 12% of total global trade of all goods)

while a team of salvage experts has been appointed to help move the ship from the trade route. The vessel, which measures 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, continues to block transit in both directions through the key shipping channel. Scores of vessels, including other large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk vessels hauling grain have backed up at either end of the canal to create one of the worst shipping jams seen for years. Incoming ships will now anchor in the waiting areas of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The world's largest container shipping company Maersk said that seven of its container ships have been affected by the crisis. The giant ship stuck in the Suez Canal is costing the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour estimated value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day is at $9.7 billion on average, with $5.1 billion travelling west and $4.6 billion travelling east.

Has the canal ever been closed since then?

Egypt closed the canal for nearly a decade after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when the waterway was basically a front line between Israeli and Egyptian military forces. Fourteen cargo ships, which became known as the “Yellow Fleet,” were trapped in the canal until it was reopened in 1975 by Mr. Nasser’s successor, Anwar el-Sadat.

A few accidental groundings of vessels have closed the canal since then. The most notable, until this week, was a three-day shutdown in 2004 when a Russian oil tanker ran aground.

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