Animals stranded on board 20 livestock ships trapped in the Suez Canal jam could starve and die if the situation lasts much longer, charity warns

ever given suez canal
Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, that is wedged across the Suez Canal and blocking traffic in the vital waterway is seen Saturday, March 27, 2021.

  • The Ever Given ship is still lodged in the Suez Canal, causing a jam of more than 200 vessels.
  • At least 20 livestock ships are trapped, The Guardian reported.
  • The stranded animals could starve and die if the situation lasts much longer, a charity warned.
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At least 20 livestock ships have been unable to pass through the Suez Canal due to the blockage of the global trade route by the massive Ever Given container ship, according to The Guardian.

These livestock ships are among the more than 200 vessels stuck in the bottleneck, according to The Washington Post.

There are concerns that if the blockage lasts much longer, the animals stranded on the ships could starve, dehydrate, and even die.

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“My greatest fear is that animals run out of food and water and they get stuck on the ships because they cannot be unloaded somewhere else for paperwork reasons,” Gerit Weidinger, EU coordinator for the Animals International charity, told The Guardian.

“Getting stuck on board means there is a risk [for the animals] of starvation, dehydration, injuries, waste buildup so they can’t lie down, and nor can the crew get rid of dead animal bodies in the [Suez] canal.” Weidinger continued. “It’s basically a ticking biohazard timebomb for animals and the crew and any person involved.”

The majority of the ships loaded animals weeks ago in both Spain and Romania, Animals International told The Guardian.

Spanish officials told the paper on Thursday that a pause has been introduced on shipping animals to the Middle East due to the logjam, the paper said.

“We cannot tell you anything about these ships, but due to the blockage of the Suez canal as a result of the grounding of the cargo ship, the Spanish administration has given orders that no animal transport ships bound for Saudi Arabia and Jordan should be loaded until the canal can be navigated normally,” the Spanish agriculture ministry told The Guardian.

The Romanian agriculture ministry did not respond to the paper’s request for comment.

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White House says the US has offered help to re-open Suez Canal: ‘We’re tracking the situation very closely’

ever given suez canal
They’re trying their best.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US has offered assistance to re-open the Suez Canal.
  • A massive cargo ship has blocked the major waterway in Egypt for days.
  • “We’re tracking the situation very closely,” Psaki said Friday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the United States has offered assistance to help re-open the Suez Canal, a major waterway in Egypt that has been jammed by a massive cargo ship for days.

“We’re tracking the situation very closely,” Psaki told reporters during a press conference. “We understand that Egyptian officials are working to remove the tanker as soon as possible and continue traffic.”

“We’re consulting with our Egyptian partners about how we can best support their efforts,” Psaki added.

The Ever Given vessel is 1,300 feet long and nearly 200 feet wide, or about the size of the Empire State Building. It ran aground early Tuesday, likely due to strong winds and poor visibility, and has since been stuck sideways in the canal.

The blockage has disrupted one of the world’s most important trade routes, which connects Europe to Asia. Hundreds of container ships have been halted because of the enormous boat.

The ship’s owner, Japanese company Shoei Kisen, hopes to dislodge it on Saturday, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asia. The timeframe seems optimistic, as shipping experts have said that it could take weeks to free the vessel.

The canal is responsible for around 10% of global trade, and an estimated 1.9 million barrels of oil are usually transported through the route every day. The London-based shipping-news journal, Lloyd’s List, reported that the maritime traffic jam is costing the global economy roughly $400 million an hour.

“We do see some potential impacts on energy markets,” Psaki said Friday. “Obviously, that’s one of the reasons we offered assistance from the United States.”

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The giant ship stuck in the Suez Canal is costing the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour

Suez canal ever given
The Ever Given, trapped in the Suez Canal, Egypt, as of Thursday, March 25, 2021.

  • A cargo ship the size of the Empire State Building has been jammed in a vital trade route for days.
  • The Ever Given’s blockage of the Suez Canal is costing $400 million per hour, Lloyd’s List estimates.
  • On average, $9.7 billion in goods travel through the canal, connecting Asia and Europe, every day.
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A massive cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important trade routes, is costing $400 million per hour in delayed goods, Lloyd’s List estimated.

The vessel, called the Ever Given, has been lodged in the canal, which runs through Egypt, since early Tuesday. The canal provides a vital shipping route that connects Europe to Asia.

Lloyd’s List, a London-based shipping news journal, estimated the value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day at $9.7 billion on average, with $5.1 billion traveling west and $4.6 billion traveling east.

The average number of vessels passing through the canal each day is 93, meaning that nearly 300 vessels have already been blocked thus far, with the jam not yet close to being cleared and the possibility that it could take weeks to dislodge the ship.

The blockage impacts the already-strained global supply chain, which has experienced shortages and shipping delays since the pandemic began last spring. It has also forced some ships to reroute and instead make the long, dangerous, and costly journey around Africa’s southern tip.

The Ever Given, which is slightly larger than the Empire State Building, ran aground Tuesday morning and is stuck horizontally across the canal. Attempts have been made to clear the sand and mud from around the ship, while tugboats have been deployed to try and shift the vessel.

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It could take weeks to dislodge the ship stuck in the Suez Canal, straining a vital supply chain route

Suez canal ever given
The Ever Given, trapped in the Suez Canal, Egypt, as of Thursday March 25 2021.

  • One of the world’s biggest container ships ran aground in the Suez Canal Tuesday.
  • The blockage has pinned in hundreds of other cargo ship in transit.
  • An expert involved in clearing the canal said it could take weeks before the waterway opens again.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A massive container ship has been blocking the Suez Canal, a major global shipping route, for over two days now and experts say it might not be moving any time soon.

The Ever Given, one of the biggest container ships in the world, ran aground on Tuesday morning, blocking all other major vessels from passing through the heavily-trafficked waterway.

The CEO of Boskalis Peter Berdowski, a Dutch company that is helping to address the blockage, said there are a lot of unknowns as to when the waterway will be cleared – making the timeline for its removal nearly impossible to predict.

“We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation, Berdowski said on Dutch Television, according to Reuters.

The ship is currently stuck at a near-right angle to the Egyptian canal that connects Europe and Asia. Part of the hulking 224,000-ton freighter had embedded itself in the bank of the canal, blocking hundreds of cargo ships that now face a decision to wait or find an alternate route. Reuters reported that diverted ships would likely be forced to go around Africa – another 15,000 miles farther.

Everything from consumer products to machinery parts to oil flows through the 120-mile passage. Nearly 19,000 ships passed through the canal during 2020, for an average of about 52 ships per day, according to the Suez Canal Authority.

Since Wednesday night, dredgers have been working to free the ship so that it can be refloated and tugboats have been attached to the vessel to try and shift its weight, according to a statement from the ship’s technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.

Suez canal ever given
The Ever Given, trapped in the Suez Canal, Egypt, as of Thursday March 25 2021.

Wind conditions, as well as the sheer size of the vessel, have made relocating the Ever Given increasingly difficult, according to a statement from the shipping company responsible for the vessel.

The Suez Canal blockage is just one of many mishaps to befall the global supply chain in the past few months. Prices of goods are expected to continue to rise as delays in key California ports, computer chip shortages and the Texas freeze complicate an already precarious post-pandemic supply chain.

An economist at Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, John Glen, said the blockage could add 10 days to UK delivery times.

“This may seem like a small problem in a country far away, but the Suez Canal has always been an important logistics route for the world’s supply chains and the blockage will likely have serious repercussions if it continues much longer,” Glen said.

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Ships stuck at the Suez Canal are considering a detour thousands of miles around Africa because of the container vessel blocking the way

suez canal ever given africa
An illustration of a sea route from the Red Sea to the east Mediterranean without using the Suez Canal.

  • The Ever Given container ship has been blocking the Suez Canal for days.
  • Some vessels hoping to use the canal are beginning to wonder about taking the long way round.
  • Before the canal, ships had to go round Africa, a costly, long, and dangerous alternative.
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A massive container ship blocking the Suez Canal is forcing shipping companies to consider the agonizing alternative of detouring round the southern tip of Africa.

According to a Thursday report from Reuters, experts estimated that if the Ever Given was not dislodged in 24 to 48 hours, companies would be forced to look into this option.

The Ever Given was stranded, blocking the canal’s entire main channel, at around 7.40 a.m. local time Tuesday. The situation has left around 150 vessels on either side of the canal awaiting passage, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

As of Thursday afternoon local time, efforts were still underway to unstick the ship from the sides of the canal.

Officials gave no firm timeframe for when that might be possible. The CEO of a specialist dredging firm brought in to help said that it “might take weeks.”

Suez canal ever given
The Ever Given, trapped in the Suez Canal, alongside two tugboats as of Thursday March 25 2021.

Commodity analysts Kpler said in a statement Thursday: “As delays continue, shippers will have to broach the unpalatable decision of whether to make a u-turn and head for the Cape of Good Hope or wait it out in the Red Sea and Mediterranean.”

Currently, taking such a route is “unlikely,” Kpler said, given the extensive delays that would cause.

Giving a sample route, the company said: “Suez to Amsterdam at 12 knots is just over 13 days via the canal, or 41 days via the Cape.”

“There would still need to be notice of longer running delays before those decisions were made.”

The extra costs of sailing via this route are phenomenal. Anoop Singh, Singapore-based head of tanker analysis at Braemar ACM, told The Wall Street Journal that the detour can add $450,000 in costs to a typical journey.

Suez canal ever given
The Ever Given, trapped in the Suez Canal, Egypt, as of Thursday March 25 2021.

The maximum length of such detour would be around 15,000 miles, if a ship were to sail from Suez at the south of the canal to Port Said at the north end without using the canal.

Most routes would differ from that and involve a shorter detour, but still in excess of 10,000 miles.

Maersk, which has nine ships stuck while the canal is cleared, said in a statement that it is looking at all possible alternatives.

It is unclear how many companies have made this call so far. Chemicals company Wood Mackenzie, which also provides supply chain analysis, estimated that as of Thursday no ships it has been tracking have yet made such a diversion.

Shippers told the WSJ that they were already seeking other routes to get supplies of oil, gas and other commodities out.

The Suez Canal was last closed in 1967, when war broke out between Egypt and Israel. For the next eight years, ships that would have gone via the canal were forced to take the long way round.

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