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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.

  • “The more secure the ship is, the longer an operation will take,” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, a company involved in the rescue, according to FT. “It can take days to weeks. Bringing in all the equipment we need, that’s not around the corner.”
  • SMIT Salvage BV, an elite ship dislodging company, and Japan's Nippon Salvage Co. have also been tapped for the rescue effort, according to Bloomberg. The rescuers may have to lighten the ship by removing fuel or water meant to keep it steady while at sea.

Why it matters: The Suez Canal accounts for approximately 30% of container shipping volumes, and blocking it even for a short amount of time will cause oil prices to rise.

  • About 100 ships are stuck in the canal waiting to pass through, carrying cargo worth almost $10 billion in oil and consumer goods.

Go deeper

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.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky in Tokyo. Photo: Ding Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images

🚨: Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars

🏊‍♀️: Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 800m freestyle

🏊: Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, 3rd gold

🇬🇧: Britain wins gold in first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: USA Gymnastics said Biles, who previously withdrew from the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health, will continue to be evaluated to determine if she'll compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.