Egyptian authorities said on Saturday that maritime traffic congestion caused by a huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal has now been cleared.
The Suez Canal authorities say that about 422 ships visible from space have now cleared important arteries, and the last 61 ships passed the waterway on Saturday.
On March 23, the huge Ever Given ship was anchored in a narrow canal, and the backlog was piled up. As the renewed efforts came to a halt, it attracted global attention and brought the multi-billion-dollar world trade to a halt. The ship was finally released on Monday.
Lieutenant General Osama Rabbi, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said in a statement: “All the waiting ships have crossed the channel today.”
He added that clearing the backlog was done within “record time.”
The 1,400-foot-long Ever Ever is a Panamanian-flag container ship taller than the Eiffel Tower. The diagonal blocked the southern part of the Suez Canal, making it impossible for many cargo ships and bulk carriers to use the main trade route.
After the ship ran aground, the international supply chain fell into chaos. After extensive dredging and repeated towing operations, the professional rescue team spent nearly a week to rescue her.
This maroon ship made global headlines and generated social media memes, while suddenly stagnating the vital east-west shipping lanes and becoming a global shipping industry. This route accounts for about 12% of world trade and is particularly important for transporting oil.
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The Suez Canal Authority began a six-day investigation into why the ship ran aground and blocked the waterway on Wednesday. Chairman Rabbi told the Egyptian MBC Masr private television station late on Friday.
He added: “The investigation is progressing well and will last for two days, and then we will announce the results.”
Early reports pointed out that the poor visibility should be attributed to strong winds and sandstorms, rather than mechanical or engine failures, but now the cause has become a subject of widespread concern.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Charlene Gubash Contributed.