Daily News Analysis

Ship blocks Suez Canal after running aground in sandstorm  

25th March, 2021 International Relations

Context: The Suez Canal, a critical shipping artery that connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas through Egypt, has been blocked after a large cargo ship ran aground while passing through it on Tuesday, bringing traffic on the busy trade route to a halt.



  • Tug boats worked Wednesday to free a giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal after it veered off course in a sandstorm, creating huge tailbacks on one of the world’s busiest trade routes.
  • Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) was working to refloat the Taiwan-run but Panama-flagged MV Ever Given, a 400-metre-long and 59-metre wide vessel, which was lodged at an angle across the waterway.
  • Egypt, which heavily depends on revenues from the canal, is now diverting ships to an older channel to minimise disruption to global trade.


About Suez Canal:

  • A human-made waterway, the Suez Canal is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12% of world trade by volume.
  • Built in 1869, it provides a major shortcut for ships moving between Europe and Asia, who before its construction had to sail around Africa to complete the same journey.