Before the grounding of the massive Ever Given container ship in the Suez Canal, some 50 vessels a day, or about 10% of global trade, sailed through the waterway each day — everything from consumer electronics to food, chemicals, ore and petroleum.
Now, with the ship lodged sideways in the canal, closing off the main oceangoing highway between Europe and Asia, much of that cargo is sitting idle. It’s either waiting to transit the canal or stuck in port while owners and shippers decide what to do.
Ultimately, they may be forced to place a bet on whether the canal will be reopened soon or gamble on expensive and time-consuming alternate routes. Lloyd’s List estimates that the waiting game is costing $9.6 billion per day.
NPR takes a look at the implications for the shipping industry and for global trade.
What are the alternatives to ships while the Suez Canal is closed? Read more