BRi Global News - Ever Given Could Be Stuck for Weeks, Raising Risk of Port Congestion, Blank Sailings


Dear Valued Clients,

Please watch the below video for a better understanding of the current situation: 

A container ship blocking the Suez Canal may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday in a new setback for global trade. 

The 400 m (430 yard) 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. In fact, the congestion of the Suez Canal may delay nearly 7% of seaborne U.S. major grain shipments, according to USDA and vessel data analysed by Bloomberg. 

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 amid high winds and a dust storm. 

According to reporting from NBC, $3 billion worth of goods typically traverse the canal every day, with more than 150 ships now in a holding pattern on either side of the waterway. 

As Port Congestion Grows, Blank Sailings are Possible 

Europe’s hub ports are preparing for a tidal wave of volume that will arrive all at once when the Suez Canal is reopened, increasing the risk of congestion and so-called structural skipped sailings that could drive already record-low vessel reliability even lower. 

There is a prolonged delay expected in moving ships through the Suez, which will have a ripple effect of forcing carriers to cancel future sailings as they try to catch up with the previous delays. The resulting cancellations in an already tight shipping market could force rates even higher. 

Unlike the blank sailings instituted by carriers in response to weak cargo volumes, these missed voyages would be structural in nature. When a vessel has been delayed for a week or longer at a given port — or in this case outside the Suez Canal — the carrier will then institute a “structural” blank for that ship’s next sailing to rectify the service schedule.


Transportation through the canal will remain suspended for the foreseeable future. Experts say it will take anywhere from days to weeks to remedy the situation. Some carriers are exploring alternate routes, including through the Cape of Good Hope. However, with that extended route, shippers can expect an 3,500 miles from Singapore to Rotterdam, or 12 to 14 days of additional transit time. 

BRi is monitoring the situation and will deliver updates to clients whose freight may be affected by the Canal's blockage

Keeping You Informed!

BRi Customer Solutions Team

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