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We look at the numbers involved in the Suez Canal disruption

suez map
Following the closure of the Suez Canal and the scale of the disruption caused by the giant cargo ship the ‘Ever Given’ we look at the numbers involved.

The delays, extra pressures, subsequent port congestion and higher costs will continue to mount throughout April, putting pressure on ocean freight over the next few weeks.

Summing up the scale of the situation – the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 200,000 TONNES – the weight of the ‘Ever Given’
  • 18,300 containers on board ‘Ever Given’
  • £10.2M – £10.9M per day of lost revenue for the Canal
  • 145,200 social interactions on Twitter using #SuezBLOCKED
  • $400M PER HOUR of trade held up
  • 3,500 additional nautical miles for vessels to take the alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope
  • 369 ships stuck in the tailback
  • 120 miles the length of the Suez Canal
  • $26,000 per day additional fuel costs for the alternative route
  • 14 Tug Boats worked for 2 days moving the ship 30 degrees left and right

At quarter of a mile long, the ‘Ever Given’ is one of the world’s largest container ships. She will be due at Felixstowe a little later than scheduled but no docking issues are expected.

The ripples for the rest of the industry will take longer to settle.

As well as delays to containers arriving at destinations, there are already shortages of empty containers in many regions and territories, and this situation will be accentuated in the coming weeks until vessels begin to arrive at their destinations.

It was also likely that regional feeder vessels, rail movements and inland haulage will become extremely busy and in high demand once containers are discharged creating issues with final mile or first mile operations – as experienced before Christmas – due to simultaneous arrival of vessels that can discharge at ports.

This will increase demand on air freight, in a normal year we would expect air to take the brunt of this increased demand, but volume is massively constrained by the lack of passenger (PAX) belly-hold capacity and the priority movement of Covid test kits. So rates are high and availability is low for the foreseeable future.

We therefore advise looking at contingency plans now to keep your supply chains running, as we expect disruption to continue for some time. If you review your priority shipments and products, we can assist with the best shipping solutions to ensure business continuity and end user fulfilment.

Contact one of the team on +44(0)1622 237 979 or email

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