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What a Suez Canal Shipwreck Says About Global Supply Chains

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He almost succeeded in making people forget the pandemic so fascinating it is, the “Ever Given”, this boat 400 meters long (against 324 high for the Eiffel Tower) and 224,000 tons. The container ship blocked the Suez Canal from March 23 to 29, after running aground due to a sandstorm in Egypt. It resumed its journey on Monday afternoon, helped by tugs and excavators which cleared 27,000 m3 of sand up to 18 meters deep at its bow. Even the full moon, which raised the water level more than usual, helped. These six days of break kept shipowners, traders and a whole section of the global economy in suspense. They shed light on weak or unrecognized links in global supply chains.

■ From aircraft carriers to cereals

More than 450 boats were reportedly stranded south of the canal on Monday, according to the agency Bloomberg. The majority of them, bulk carriers, transport raw materials of all types. There are also tankers: the channel is ideal for transporting fuel, between Saudi Arabia, Europe and the United States. On average, one million barrels of oil pass through it every day.

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