Suez Canal blockage

29th March, 2021

Like all involved in International trade, we wish all the very best to those seeking to release the Ever Given from the Suez Canal. We had of course been hoping for a faster resolution which would have the least impact on the global supply chain, unfortunately even with great efforts the vessel remains wedged into the Suez canal.

The continued blockage, in what is one of the world’s busiest and most important waterways, could have a major impact on already stretched global supply chains, with disruption escalating with each day that passes.

The Ever Given, a 400m long, 200,000 tonne vessel has been wedged between the east and west banks of the canal since last Tuesday. Several attempts by tug boats to pull the vessel free has failed and dredging of the canal wall begun on Saturday in a desperate attempt to dislodge the vessel. 27,000 cubic metres of sand and mud, to a depth of 18m has been removed and allowed water to flow underneath the Ever Given. Whilst recovery crews wait on increasing tides consideration is also being given on how to remove some of the 18,300 containers to lighten the load, but this could take days or even weeks.

With an excess of 360 vessels in queue waiting to pass through the canal and an additional 50 vessels per day hereafter shipping lines have already begun circumnavigating around Africa, which will add 7-10 days to sailing schedules. The likely flow-on effect of this will be delays at ports globally, congestion, blank sailings and rescheduled sailings.

To our customers our message remains the same as it has been throughout the COVID period, please always engage with our customer service team when raising a purchase order (PO). If you’re not already taking advantage of our PO tracking and management system, we would recommend having this discussion with our customer service and or sales team. Allow a longer lead time and continue to give consideration to what buffer stock you are requiring, with COVID and now the Suez Canal issues, stock holding decisions are considerably different than the pre-COVID period.

For more detailed information on this issue and on any trade matters please make an appointment for a call with one of our very experienced team member at



Southern Cross Cargo Pty Ltd

+61 7 3899 6466
Unit 4, 24-26 Ellerslie Road
Meadowbrook QLD 4131
Level 2, Suite 210, 29 Kiora Road
Miranda NSW 2228
PO Box 245
Capalaba QLD 4157