The Suez Canal is a man-made waterfront situated in Egypt. It stretches for around 193 kilometers (or 120 miles) and connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea via the Isthmus of Suez. This sea-level waterway also is famous for being the division between the Asian and African Continents.
The Suez Canal has historically become a very important waterbody because it is the shortest marine route from Europe to Asia and is thus heavily used by cargo ships to deliver goods at the earliest.
How Suez Canal Started
On the 23rd of March, 2021, a so-called mega-ship named Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, which caused a massive jam of cargo ships at either end of an important international trade route.
The ship, a 220,000-ton, 400-meter-long container transport said to contain 20,000 containers. This mega-ship somehow aligned horizontally in the waterway after a gush of heavy winds pushed it into that undesired alignment.
The inspection started the next day itself as several tug boats were sent to the scene to assist Ever Given in the Re-Float operation, which at first looked like it could take weeks, noted Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch Company Boskalis. His company was helping in the assistance efforts.
Rescue Mission: Operation Re-Float
A fleet of tugs aligned themselves parallel to the Ever Given used cables and worked tirelessly for many-a-days to free it. But, when this tedious work seemed to bear no fruit, dredgers were brought onto the scene. The dredgers dug the mud and sand from under the bow and stern of the ship to help it Re-Float. After all of these efforts, it was still becoming a meticulous task to get Ever Given to float again.
There was talk of a third option if the tug boats and dredger combinations did fail.
This option included the withdrawal of some of the cargo and fuel from the ship for it to get to float again. However, this was to be a very intricate and tedious operation. Thankfully, the combination of tug boats and dredging ships (with added help from some strong tides) was enough to finally dislodge the ship and make it Re-Float in just over six days.
After Effects of the Suez Canal Traffic
This ordeal, however, affected many lives in many states of their respective lives. The owner of the cargo ship Ever Given which is operated by Taiwan-based Firm Evergreen is allegedly facing millions of dollars in insurance claims. Also, the Egyptian Government noted tens of millions of dollars in losses related to the traffic ordeal and the money involved in the Re-Float operation.
The Suez Canal traffic is one of the most disastrous incidents to have happened in recent business history. Although no life was lost, monetary losses of both the government and dealers, in general, have amounted to an astronomical figure. This explains why this particular canal is so heavily protected and maintained. The Suez Canal is an important port because of all of the facts mentioned above, and as a result, Egypt is very dependent on it for its economic growth. This traffic resulted in its commerce taking a hit, and thus, the government is taking serious steps in revitalizing the canal and making it more efficient than ever before.