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Ever Given could block the Suez Canal for weeks, with hundreds of ships backed up

A container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” may take weeks to free, the salvage company says, as officials stop all ships from entering the waterway.

The 400 metre Ever Given is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said eight tugs were working to move the vessel, which got stuck diagonally across the single-lane southern stretch of the canal on Tuesday morning (local time) amid high winds and a dust storm.

Key points:

  • A total of 206 large container ships have backed up at either end of the canal
  • Roughly 30 per cent of the world’s shipping container volume transits through the canal daily
  • The ship’s GPS signal shows only minor changes to its position over the past 24 hours

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Author: ABC analyst Casey Briggs

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