What Happened in the Suez Canal?


Rachel Foreman, News Writer

The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway in Egypt that was first constructed in 1869 and connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

This canal is one of the most important trade routes in the world because it gives a massive shortcut from Asia to Europe, so ships from Asia don’t have to go all the way around Africa to get to Europe. 

Another reason why this canal is so important is that 20% of the world goods travel through this canal every year.

The ship that blocked the canal was the MV Ever Given and is 400 meters long, which is about the size of the Empire State Building and is one of the biggest cargo ships in the world. 

This ship was on a route from Malaysia to the Netherlands, and the fastest way for the Ever Given to go is through the Suez Canal in Egypt. 

Within hours of the Ever Given entering the canal through the Red Sea, there was a sandstorm with harsh winds that was pushed against the ship which made it lose all ability to steer and then caused the ship to ram into both sides of the canal blocking it 


The canal is only 200 meters wide and the Ever Given is 400 meters wide so when the ship rammed into the sides it made it so the whole canal was completely impassable for all boats in the canal.

There was a system in place so that if ships got stuck there was another way to get around by adding additional channels, but this was only in the top part of the canal. There was no system for the bottom half of the canal where the Ever Given was stuck.

Ships had the option to stay in the canal or go all the way around Africa which would take an extra 10 days and would cost more money.

While the canal was blocked there were 300 ships waiting to be able to pass.

First Egypt sent 25 tug boats to the Ever Given but the size, weight, and how nudged it was in the ground made it nearly impossible for the Ever Given to become unstuck. After a few days high tides made it so the tug boats were able to free the Ever Given. 

Every day that the canal was being blocked it cost 9 billion dollars and the canal was blocked for 6 days which in total cost 54 billion dollars. 

The Canal is now no longer blocked so shipping should be back to normal.