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Dear all Valued Customers
The Suez Canal is set to resume operations today after the 20,388 teu Ever Given was re-floated overnight.
While the vessel’s bow remained stuck on one side of the waterway this morning, the high spring tide this afternoon allowed salvors to re-float the entire ship and unblock the waterway after a week of closure. Salvage crews had been working around a schedule largely dictated by the tides: working to make progress during the six hours it would take for the water to go from low point to high and then back again.
Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com confirmed that the ship was moving away from the shoreline toward the centre of the artery. Video released by the Suez Canal Authority showed the Ever Given being escorted by the tugboats that helped free it, each sounding off their horns in jubilation after nearly a week of chaos.
Lasting Effects of the Blockage
The obstruction had created a massive traffic jam in the vital passage, holding up $9 billion each day in global trade and straining supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
It remains unclear when traffic through the canal will return to normal. At least 367 vessels, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle, have piled up on either end of the canal, waiting to pass.
Experts have estimated it could take more than 10 days to clear the backlog of ships. Meanwhile, dozens of vessels have opted for the alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip — a 5,000-kilometer (3,100-mile) detour that adds some two weeks to journeys and costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.
The ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant, and the blockage has already triggered a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take weeks, possibly months, to unravel. BRi USA is monitoring affected client shipments and communicating delays as needed. Please reach out to your BRi USA Representative with further questions.
WHO Urges Front-of-Line Vaccinations for Seafarers, Aircrews
The World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies on Friday called on governments to prioritize seafarers and aircrews in their COVID-19 vaccination programs, saying their safe movement is essential to critical goods movement and travel on which the global economy depends for recovery.
“For shipping and air transport to continue to operate safely, the safe cross-border movement of seafarers and aircrew must be facilitated. We reiterate our call upon countries that have not done so to designate seafarers and aircrew as key workers,” says the joint statement, signed by the heads of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Organization for Migration and the World Health Organization (WHO). “Seafarers and aircrew need to be protected through vaccination as soon as possible to facilitate their safe movement across borders.”
DOT has Limited Path to Ease US Port Congestion, Exporter Woes
The new head of the US Department of Transportation (DOT) said the agency may consider acting “outside the lane” to address port congestion and help US agriculture shippers that allege container lines have been refusing export bookings. However, there’s a narrow path for federal action beyond prioritizing infrastructure investments that would add exporter capacity.
Nonetheless, DOT's Pete Buttigieg has pledged to help ease port congestion ahead of the Biden administration's expected release of a $3 trillion infrastructure stimulus package.
Shanghai Set to Develop Hongqiao Airport – but Not as a Rival for Pudong
Shanghai plans to develop its domestic airport into a major international hub – but insists it won’t “fall into vicious competition” with Shanghai Pudong International (PVG), the country’s biggest air cargo gateway.
This month, the Shanghai municipal government published a blueprint to develop Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), a 7,000 sq km site on the city’s western outskirts, connecting with neighbouring Jiangsu province. The project, it said, would aid China’s “opening up” to the world and the integration of the Yangtze River Delta by creating a global central business district, international trade centre and major transport hub, with plans to improve connectivity at both the airport and railway station.
Along with aviation, meetings and events is a key sector Hongqiao wants to develop.
From an industry – this is great news and should if been considered years ago!
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As a valued customer, we hope that you will continue to trust us to source the best options for your supply chain needs now and into the future. Should you have any queries regarding this News, please do not hesitate to contact your Customer Solutions Representative.
Keeping you updated,
BRi Customer Solutions TeamBack to News Page