Unblocking the Suez canal

Unblocking the Suez canal

The Guardian

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The gigantic cargo ship Ever Given blocked the world’s busiest shipping lane for a week. Guardian reporter Michael Safi looks at what the costly nautical traffic jam tells us about global trade

The Suez canal, built in 1869, is a 120-mile strip of water that has been called a ‘ditch in the desert’. Nearly 20,000 ships pass through it a year, so when the Ever Given, one of the biggest vessels ever built, became wedged last week and blocked it, global trade through the canal ground to a halt.

The Guardian international correspondent Michael Safi tells Anushka Asthana the story of the crash, including the efforts to free the ship and the impact the blockage has had on the movement of trade across the globe. The retired Turkish mariner Alper Gergin also explains why steering a ship of such a size is harder than handling a Boeing 747.

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