The Suez Canal crisis, and its impact on global trade

#GS1 Geography

#GS3 International Trade

News info:

A container ship called the ‘Ever Given’ was freed a week after it ran aground and blocked other vessels from transiting one of the world’s most important waterways. 

A human-made waterway, the Suez Canal is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12 percent of world trade by volume.


The Suez canal took 10 years to build in the Mid-1800s, 

1 Megaship blocked it in the day in March 2021 which made global trade go into a tailspin.


Suez Canal ship stuck: How did Ever Given get stuck?
  • The 193 Km artificial canal is:
  • Shortest sea link between Asia and Europe since 1869
  • Longest canal with no locks
  • One of the busiest trade routes
  • A flashpoint for geopolitical conflict

Cargo Blockade:

MV Ever Given, headed from China to the Netherlands, had run aground and gotten stuck across the canal for a week.


  • Strong wind or human/technical error is being investigated.

The large cargo ship had blocked the path of 400+ ships.

History: Suez Canal

  • Pharaoh Senausret III dug the first canal in 1887-1849
  • Finally built between 1859-69, with 1.5 million workers, in Ottoman-ruled Egypt
  • After 2 World wars, Britain relinquished canal authority to Egypt in 1956
  • Closed 5 times in the past- after Abdel Nasser's government nationalized it in 1956; for 8 years after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Impact on Global Trade:

The canal carries-

  1. 12% of World trade
  2. 7% World's oil
  3. 30% of Container-ship traffic daily
Suez Canal blockage: 4 of the biggest trade chokepoints | Business| Economy  and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.03.2021

Source: The Hindu

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