Imagine trying to dislodge a 200,000-ton cargo ship that is longer than the Empire States Building is tall.
After the giant cargo ship, Ever Given, got twisted around in winds and a sandstorm in the Suez Canal, other container ships are backed up waiting to take the time-saving channel. Before the canal was built, ships had to take the long way — around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa – a route that adds 14 days and 5,000 nautical miles to the journey.
Given that almost 12% of the world’s shipping goes through the Canal, the ripple effect is already being felt globally. Experts have warned that blocked shipments are worth an estimated $9.5billion per day. Crude oil prices have already risen by 6%.
Dutch experts brought in to evacuate the ship have had no luck so far.
Comparing the ship to ‘an enormous beached whale, the CEO of Dutch company Boskalis, said workers might have to start offloading cargo in order to reduce its weight and get it floating again.
‘We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation,’ he told Dutch media. ‘It’s an enormous weight on the sand. We might have to work with a combination of reducing the weight by removing containers, oil and water from the ship, tug boats and dredging of sand.’