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Photo: Suez Canal Authority/HO/AFP via Getty Images

Two days later, a massive ship remains lodged in the Suez Canal.

Why it matters: One of the world's biggest vessels carrying important cargo being stuck and the blockage of a critical trade route equals global trade disaster.

  • Reuters says the "Ever Given" is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is high.

What's new: A company working to dislodge the ship said it could take days (even weeks) to free the ship.

  • The disruption is rippling through the shipping industry.
  • The latest example: Shippers — with containers carrying oil, commodities and consumer goods — are rerouting vessels to avoid the jam, Bloomberg reported.

What they're saying: The CEO of the company working to free the ship "compared it to 'an enormous beached whale' and said 'it might take weeks' to get the vessel off, possibly necessitating 'a combination of reducing the weight by removing containers, oil and water from the ship, tugboats and dredging of sand.'"

The bottom line: It's yet another blow for the shipping industry dealing with container shortages and port backups.

Go deeper

Rescuers say container ship stuck in Suez could take weeks to unblock

Satellite photo: European Space Agency Copernicus Sentinel-2 Satellite/Maxar Technologies via Reuters

A skyscraper-sized container ship wedged in the Suez Canal could take weeks to unblock, wreaking further havoc on global oil markets and trade, the Financial Times reports.

Background: The 220,000-ton and quarter-mile-long Ever Given container ship, one of the largest in the world, has been stuck in the canal since it was caught in poor visibility and high winds from a sandstorm Tuesday as it was headed from China to the Netherlands.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Massive container ship gets stuck in Suez Canal, causing maritime traffic jam

Workers next to a container ship that was hit by strong winds and ran aground in the Suez Canal, Egypt. Photo: Suez Canal Authority via Reuters

A huge container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal late Tuesday, causing a massive maritime traffic jam.

Why it matters: The Suez accounts for approximately 30% of container shipping volumes, and blocking it for even a short time will cause oil prices to rise — and remind us that the entire global economy relies on really, really big ships.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.