A giant Panamanian-flagged ship reportedly ran aground and crossed the Suez Canal shipping route connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, Tuesday (23/3/2021) local time.
Quoted by the Associated Press (AP), the giant ship Ever Given, chartered by Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, was seen closing all routes on the canal. Currently tugboats are deployed to tow the 400 meter long giant.
Seeing the vital nature of this shipping route, it is predicted that the global logistics route between Asia and Europe could be disrupted. Moreover, the Egyptian government said it would take at least two days for the evacuation.
"Every day, an average of 50 ships pass through the canal, so closing the canal means no ships are transiting north and south," said Salvatore R. Mercogliano, a former merchant seaman and history professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, quoted Wednesday (24 / 3/2021).
"Every day the canals are closed ... container ships and tankers do not deliver food, fuel and manufactured goods to Europe and goods are not exported from Europe to the Far East."
The incident marks a new thing affecting seafarers amid the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people have been trapped on boats during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, demand for shipments has also increased during the outbreak of the corona. This adds to the stress on tired sailors.
"That's because global shipping speeds are very high at the moment and deliveries are on a very tight schedule," he said.
"In addition, sailors have not been able to get on and off ships due to Covid restrictions."
The ship Ever Given had registered its destination as Rotterdam in the Netherlands before getting stuck in a canal. The ship, built in 2018 in Japan, is nearly 400 meters long and 59 meters wide.
The giant ship is known to be able to carry around 20,000 containers at a time. This makes it one of the largest container ships in the world.
Source : CNBC Indonesia