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Suez Canal blockage: A lasting impact on global trade?

DW, 30 Mar 2021
After efforts stretching over many days, the Ever Given container ship in the Suez Canal has finally been refloated.
That doesn't mean, though, that traffic in the waterway is back to normal. But it's certainly good news that the gigantic vessel could be dislodged without completely removing the cargo first. After all, it was proving to be a very costly affair. Insurance company Allianz estimated that each day of the blockade was costing between $6-10 billion (€5-8.5 billion).
That's hardly surprising, given that 13% of goods making up the global trade volume pass through the 193-kilometer (120-mile) Suez Canal. It's the shortest route between the economies of Asia and Europe — and it can be a real chokepoint as the past few days have shown all too clearly. Similar bottlenecks are found in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia. It would only take, say, a sandstorm, or maybe an inattentive captain to clog a key artery of world trade.

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