The massive container ship that is currently stuck in the Suez Canal could impact material costs and delivery dates for U.S. builders.
The Ever Given ship, heading north through the canal, suddenly found itself ground in mud on March 23, with its bow aground on the eastern back of the canal and its stern stuck on the western bank side.
Because of the enormous size of the 220,000-ton vessel, described as being as long in length as the Empire State Building is in height, more than 300 other ships are now part of an unprecedented traffic jam in the canal, waiting in the hope that dredging operations in the 120 mile-long throughway will be able to remove mud and sand from the ship.
In a statement, the Munich, Germany-based insurer Allianz estimated that each day of the vessel’s immobilization “could cost global trade $6 billion to $10 billion.”
Notes Data Digest, a publication put out by the Associated General Contractors of America: “There are likely to be ripple effects, given a shortage of containers in Asia and delayed shipments to the U.S. from Europe of manufactured goods that depend on parts from Asia.”
John Newcomb, chief executive officer of the Builders Merchants Federation, told the Construction News: “The longer it goes without resolution, the more likely it is that imported building materials such as screws and fixings, tools, plumbing items, sanitary-ware and shower enclosures may be affected.”
The canal, connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and completed after ten year in 1869, is one of the busiest routes for shipping in the world.
By Garry Boulard
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