The backlog at the Suez Canal stood at around 400 ships when the Ever Given was freed, and could take a week to clear

The backlog at the Suez Canal stood at around 400 ships when the Ever Given was freed, and could take a week to clear
Stranded ships waiting in the queue to cross the Suez Canal on March 27, 2021.MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP via Getty Images/Insider
  • Around 400 ships were waiting to get through the Suez Canal as of Monday.
  • The Ever Given container ship was blocking the path for almost a week.
  • It's now fee, but it's not clear when the other ships will be able to pass.

Around 400 ships were still waiting to use the Suez Canal as of Monday after the Ever Given cargo ship was finally freed.

The Ever Given first got wedged in the canal on Tuesday March 23, meaning no ships could pass. It was finally able to move again on Monday.Typically, around $10 billion in trade passes through the channel every day. The canal connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and means ships can get between Europe and Asia without having to sail around Africa.
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Lloyd's List, a London-based maritime intelligence publication, said that the number of large ships waiting to pass through the canal had grown to 372 as of Monday.

Bloomberg gave a higher estimate, reporting that more than 450 ships total were waiting.

This satellite image shows what the blockage looked like on Saturday. The backlog as of Monday would be greater:
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There was no immediate timeline for when the canal could be usable again for other ships.

The channel is only wide enough to take traffic in one direction at a time, so ships typically travel in convoys alternating the north and south routes.Once it does reopen, the clearing process will take some time.
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Mohab Mamish, the Egyptian president's advisor for the canal authority, told Bloomberg: "It could take around one week to get all ships out of the Suez canal corridor."

Maersk, the world's biggest shipping company, warned on Monday that the shipping problems caused by the Ever Given could take months to resolve.

It said: "Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant and the blockage has already triggered a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take weeks, possibly months, to unravel."
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Live animals and goods like toilet paper, coffee, and furniture are on the blocked ships.

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