Netizens compare Suez Canal blockade to Bengaluru traffic snarls

A handout satellite image made available by MAXAR Technologies shows excavation around the bow of the 'Ever Given' and dredging operations in progress

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief, Osama Rabie, said on Sunday that although the vessel was still stuck there were "positive indicators" from the past two days' efforts.

After a dust storm beached the Ever Given container ship and blocked the Suez Canal on Tuesday, worldwide companies are speaking out about how they may be affected.

Suez Canal officials hoped that high tide and dredging efforts could see the giant ship freed on Saturday night, four days after it ran aground.

Mr Higaki said the company hoped the dredging efforts would succeed because that was the faster option. According to shipping data the 200,000-tonne ship, which is capable of carrying 20,000 containers - is holding up an estimated £9.6bn ($13.3bn) of goods each day. "Once it refloats, it should be able to operate", according to the BBC.

The sight of the 400-metre ship, with a total tonnage of 220,000 tons, stuck the width of the canal, while tugboats and dredgers attempt to free it has created many a meme as well as concerns, as it highlights the fragility of the global shipping industry. Egyptian authorities have prohibited media access to the site.

Workers have begun using machinery that can remove pulverised rocks in a bid to free the ship.

He added that almost 10,000 tons of ballast had been removed from the Ever Given to attempt to refloat the ship.

The Suez Canal Authority has said it welcomed worldwide assistance.

USA and Egyptian officials on Friday said the US military will assist in reopening the Suez Canal, although what form the assistance could take remains unclear.

Tugboats have worked through the night to free the Ever Given
Tugboats have worked through the night to free the Ever Given Credit AFP

There had been "no reports of pollution or cargo damage and initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding", it said. He said officials have been in discussions with the USA about removing some of the cargo.

Rabie said the ships that are waiting were free to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope, but none had yet done so. Such an arrangement is customary, but the ship's captain retains ultimate authority over the vessel, according to experts. It's probably all over your Twitter timelines in the form of a meme; the enormous ship representing a big problem, the tiny digger trying to expand the canal representing the small, insignificant steps taken to mitigate such a big problem.

An Aladdin's cave of goods ranging from IKEA furnishings to tens of thousands of livestock is stuck in a maritime traffic jam caused by the Suez Canal blockage.

He added that if the blockage at the canal persisted, the ship may re-route around the southern tip of Africa, an expensive detour many companies have been forced to consider due to the blockage.

Roughly 12% of world trade passes through the Suez Canal.

This includes large oil and gas tankers that have also changed course in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean before diverting to go around the Cape, CNBC reported.

Oil markets were absorbing the disruption for now, analyst Toril Bosoni said.

But Rabie said on Saturday that "strong winds and weather factors" were not exclusively responsible, saying there "may have been technical or human errors".

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