|By Nithusa Sinnadurai, Staff Writer|
The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway that is owned by Egypt. This water-route is a passage that connects the Mediterranean sea to the Red Sea; it is notably one of the busiest waterways in the world. Construction for the Suez Canal began in 1859 and completed in 1869, thus creating the shortest link between the East and West thanks to its strategic placement.
Despite the canal being active for over 150 years, it closed for the first time in 1967 due to the Six-day war. Due to the route’s portrayal as the avant-garde for the Arab-Israeli war. The canal remained closed until its reopening in 1975. The second shut-down occurred in November 2004, when the oil tanker “Tropical Brilliance” was caught in-between the canal after the tanker had suffered steering gear failure.
Most recently, as most would know, the Suez Canal has made headlines once again as the Ever Given has found itself stuck within the waterway. Despite Egypt spending over $8 billion in expanding the canal back in 2015, the Ever Given, is a ship managed by the Evergreen Shipping line and famous for holding some of the world’s largest ships containers, is now wedged between the popular canal. When the ship was making its way from Yantian, China to Port of Rotterdam, located in the Netherlands, it was faced with an intense sandstorm. On the early morning of March 23rd, 2021, the ship was confronted by violent winds that shifted the ship of course thus leading to the collision. The Suez Canal Authority is continuing its investigation to determine whether or not this was a technical or human error.
No matter whose error it may be, the Evergreen is looking at several millions of dollars in emergency services and insurance claims. It has been alleged that the company is facing over $10 billion in deficit as The Ever Given’s containers were worth approximately $5.1 billion dollars daily and the traffic caused by the collision adding another $4.5 billion daily has now led to a loss of $9.6 billion every day since.
Evergreen’s owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha put out a public apology saying,” We would like to apologize to all parties affected by this incident, including the ships traveling and planning to travel through the Suez Canal.” But the question stands: can the apology fix the financial domino effect their company has now created? With approximately 13% of world trade depending on this canal, everything has now been put on a strict pause. As this story continues to develop, information regarding the financial damage and future renovation plans will most probably be released before the Ever Given does.
Photo from TIME