The Suez Canal remains blocked by grounded containership Ever Given. As the canal’s closure enters its fourth day, the number of vessels waiting to transit was 237, according to a Suez Canal Authority (SCA) update at 1200 hrs local time.

While AIS tracking data shows some vessels have changed course to reroute around the canal, the queue of vessels is likely to continue to grow. There were 89 ships at Port Said awaiting a southbound convoy, 41 ships at the Great Bitter lakes waiting to continue their transit and 107 ships at Suez waiting for a northbound convoy, according to the SCA.

Supply chain visibility company Project44 estimated that some 727,764 teu of containership capacity had been impacted by the Suez delays.

Two dredgers from the SCA worked through the night trying to free Ever GIven with eight tugs also on site, said the update. The SCA also expressed its thanks for international offers of assistance in clearing the blockage.

With around 10% of world trade passing through the Suez Canal each year, and some salvors projecting the blockage to remain in place for weeks, analysts have speculated on the impact on global supply chains.

Claire Grierson, Senior Director of Tanker Research at SSY said that while the impact on the VLCC market had so far been minimal, but it would become more problematic if the Ever Given remains grounded into next week.

“It is having more of an impact on the Suezmax sector where rates are starting to rise and where a lengthy blockage will more quickly affect vessel supply balances. Some vessels in this segment ballast northward through the Suez Canal, after completing voyages in the East, to lift cargoes from the Black Sea or the Mediterranean to go to Asia again, so a sustained canal disruption would have a significant impact on this voyage chain,” said Grierson.

Charterers were already looking at voyage options around the Cape of Good Hope as well as Suez, despite the added 20 days to voyage times. Longer voyages soak up vessel supply and would support rates, Grierson said.

“If the Canal disruption is prolonged, the rerouting of tankers around the Cape of Good Hope will add greatly to voyage times, affecting vessel supply replenishment for some regions and this will boost freight rates at a time when many tanker segments have been struggling. If replacement vessels are needed, this will also cause rates to jump.”

SSY said that the impact on LNG trades would be minimal for now, but head of research Derek Langston warned of impacts on other trades.

“The commodity impact extends beyond oil and gas. An array of dry bulk cargoes use the Suez Canal to access key markets in Asia, including grain from the Black Sea and Europe, coal and iron ore from the Black Sea, plus fertilisers from the Baltic Sea.

“To give an idea of scale, SSY estimated more than 40 million tonnes of grain were shipped from the Black Sea alone through the Suez Canal last year to destinations across the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and East Africa,” said Langston.

Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal – Update 8

March 28, 2021

Egypt Suez Canal

The Suez Canal passage continues to be blocked in both directions. Whilst efforts continue to dislodge the container ship operated by Evergreen Marine, numbers show that over 300 ships are now waiting at anchorage to pass through the canal. Currently Maersk and partners have three vessels stuck in the canal and 27 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with two more expected to reach the blockage today. We have until now redirected 15 vessels around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. Watch this video with the head of our global execution centre where he talks about some of the factors that play into these mitigation decisions.

Please note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub. 
For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase and the blockage triggers a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take months to unravel, even after the canal is reopened. Redirecting vessels also mean that these vessels will be missing somewhere else during that time, leading to further shortage in the market.
We see it as our utmost priority to mitigate this where we can and have in certain areas already started to proactively manage our capacity will not be accepting cargo where we cannot ensure space. Our partners are also looking into the impacts on flows in our hubs and key terminals, trying to avoid flooding of cargo if it can’t be loaded onboard a vessel.

For the immediate term we also anticipate higher short-term (or spot) rates, with vessels being delayed this week and missing in the system. However long-term it will not continue as volumes will go down. At the current time we do not expect this to change the overall prospects for the year towards a normalisation. 
Throughout this process we aim to give as much clarity and notice as possible. We are all in this situation together and everyone needs to collaborate towards mitigating the situation, for instance working to return equipment faster.

While out of our control, we apologize for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business in a time where certain industries are already stretched due to the pandemic. Businesses reliant on just in time supply chains risk having to reproduce or resort to flying in essential components and for critical shipments we recommend that you reach out to your local sales representative for dialogues and quotations on alternative solutions for urgent cargo that is still at origin or elsewhere.  

Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal – Update 7

March 28, 2021

suez-2

The Suez Canal passage continues to be blocked in both directions. Whilst efforts continue to dislodge the container ship operated by Evergreen Marine, numbers show that over 300 ships are now waiting at anchorage to pass through the canal. There is a steady inflow of vessels reaching the canal and the effects of the redirected vessels from global carriers is not yet reflected in the queue. Currently we (Maersk and partners) have three vessels stuck in the canal and 27 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with two more expected to reach the blockage today. 
To give you as much visibility into the situation as possible, please see the planned schedule for Maersk and partner vessels for the next two weeks here.
We have until now redirected 15 vessels where we deemed the delay of sailing around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa equal to the current delay of sailing to Suez and queuing. We do not expect to redirect any further ships during the weekend based on this analysis. New calculations on redirecting additional vessels will be made Monday considering the weekends’ salvage attempts. 
While ETAs are jeopardized, it is too early to indicate the delay as we are doing our utmost to mitigate this. Please note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub. 
While out of our control, we apologize for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business and for critical shipments we recommend that you reach out to your local sales representative for dialogues and quotations on alternative solutions, such as air and rail for urgent cargo that is still at origin or elsewhere. 

Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal – Update 6

March 27, 2021

suez-3

The Suez Canal passage continues to be blocked in both directions as a container ship operated by Evergreen Marine ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway due to strong winds and sandstorms early Tuesday March 23.  
Whilst efforts to dislodge the Evergreen vessel from the Suez Canal continue, hundreds of ships are caught up in the traffic in both directions. The Suez Canal has a daily capacity of approximately 50 – 85 vessels, with vessels entering from both sides. This navigation simulation from the official Suez Canal Authority (SCA) illustrates the margins very well.  
Once the canal is reopened, convoys would aim to run continuously. They are assessing the current backlog of vessels as of the 27th of March, and we would expect that it would take 3-6 days for the complete queue to pass, conditional to safety and other operational circumstances. As more vessels either reach the blockage or is redirected, this is an estimate and is subject to change. Currently we (Maersk and partners) have 22 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with 4-5 expected to reach the blockage today. 
While ETAs are jeopardized as salvage efforts continue, it is too early to indicate the total delay of our vessels. To give you as much visibility into the situation as possible, please see the planned schedule for Maersk and partner vessels for the next two weeks here.
Please note that the vessel lists might be subject to change as we continue to divert vessels where possible.
As you can see from our web advisory, the current number redirected Maersk and partner vessels is 14 and expected to rise as we assess the salvage efforts along with network capacity and fuel on our vessels currently en route to Suez. Please note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub.

 While out of our control, we apologize for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business and for critical shipments we recommend that you reach out to your local sales representative for dialogues and quotations on alternative solutions, such as air and rail for urgent cargo that is still at origin or elsewhere.   

Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal – Update 5

March 27, 2021

suez-4

The Suez Canal passage continues to be blocked in both directions as a container ship operated by Evergreen Marine ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway due to strong winds and sandstorms early Tuesday March 23.  
Whilst efforts to dislodge the Evergreen vessel from the Suez Canal continue, hundreds of ships are caught up in the traffic snarl in both directions. For every day that passes, more vessels will reach the blockage. To give you as much visibility into the situation as possible, please see the planned schedule for Maersk and partner vessels for the next two weeks here.
*Please note that the vessel lists might be subject to change as we continue to divert vessels where possible.
As you can see from our web advisory, the current number redirected Maersk and partner vessels is 14 and expected to rise as we assess the salvage efforts along with network capacity and fuel on our vessels currently en route to Suez. 
While ETAs are jeopardized as salvage efforts continue, it is too early to indicate the delay, as we are doing our utmost to mitigate this. Please note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub. Click here to login to the Hub.
As a customer of Maersk, your cargo might also be on another vessel from a different operator than the above. All Maersk customers, whose cargo is directly impacted by the current situation, will receive specific information regarding detailed schedule changes and alternative options provided once we have

the full overview.

For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase. The impact will continue well beyond the physical removal of the vessel and we are working hard to manage the impact as much as possible – both operationally and commercially. We have already started to proactively manage our capacity will not be accepting cargo where we cannot ensure space. Throughout this process we aim to give as much clarity and notice as possible. We are all in this situation together and everyone needs to collaborate towards mitigating the situation, for instance working to return equipment faster.

While out of our control, we apologize for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business and for critical shipments we recommend that you reach out to your local sales representative for dialogues and quotations on alternative solutions, such as air and rail for urgent cargo that is still at origin or elsewhere.