Suez crisis: A Global Economy Creaking Under the Strain

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মঙ্গলবার, ৩০ মার্চ ২০২১



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Reporter:Kazi Mohammad Monayem: Egypt’s Suez Canal chief said Saturday that “technical or human errors” could be behind the grounding of a huge container ship blocking the vital waterway, causing a backlog of over 300 vessels.

Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, told reporters that the ship could be afloat again by Sunday night. The crisis has crippled global supply chains, forcing cargo firms to choose between waiting or the expensive option of rerouting vessels around the southern tip of Africa.

Officials had previously blamed 40-knot gusts and a sandstorm for the accident.

But Rabie said Saturday that “strong winds and weather factors” were not solely responsible, saying there “may have been technical or human errors”.
Asked when the vessel might be freed, he sounded an optimistic note. “We could finish today or tomorrow (Sunday), depending on the ship’s responsiveness” to tides, he said.

Over 320 ships carrying billions of dollars-worth of cargo are now stalled at either end of the vital shipping lane linking Asia to Europe.

The 193-kilometre (120-mile) long canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean is vital for shipping between Asia and Europe, the alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope costing an additional 12 days at sea.

Egypt is losing some $12-14 million in revenue from the canal for each day it is closed, Rabie added.

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