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Get that boat off the Suez Canal!MENA

Get that boat off the Suez Canal!

A traffic jam from hell is currently blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal, with dozens of vessels having to stay put while waiting for rescue teams to free the main culprit: a 400-meter long, 200,000-tonne container ship that got knocked off course by strong winds on Tuesday (yes, it’s been stuck for a few days now!).

There are between 165 and 185 vessels waiting to transit, and it’s estimated that the two-way blockage is halting about $9.6b worth of ship traffic per day! Egypt decided to reopen the canal’s older channel so that at least some of the traffic can be diverted. Depending on the tides, it can take several days or even weeks to dislodge the stranded ship — fingers crossed that Mother Nature is in good spirits.

why it matters
As the shortest maritime link between Asia and Europe, the Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest waterways (about 12% of global trade passes through there). About 13 million barrels of crude could be affected by the incident, which has already prompted oil prices to skyrocket. The true impact of this messy situation on the markets will be dictated by how long it takes to free the boat.