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Suez Canal blockage leaves Egypt with lessons to learn

By Ahmed Ahmed
Posted on Thursday, 1 April 2021 15:25

In this photo released by Suez Canal Authority, the Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship is accompanied by Suez Canal tugboats as it moves in the Suez Canal, Egypt, Monday, March 29, 2021. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

After six days of waiting for the 'Ever Given' cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal to be refloated, hundreds of stranded ships restarted their engines and got in line to cross the waterway cheered by tugboat horns. But celebrations were rapidly followed by concerns over the challenges facing the canal.

The blockage of the Suez Canal, an international trade artillery linking Asia to Europe and a vital source of foreign currency to Egypt, sounded the alarms of the vulnerability of global trade to such incidents.

Egypt had to reassure the global trading community of the canal’s ability to maintain safe passage for all ships, and ultimately, that it can handle accidents swiftly and efficiently amid competition with other trade routes.

$400m losses per hour