March 31, 2021 - Update 2
As you may be aware, the blockage in the Suez Canal has been removed, since the Ever Given was re-floated two days ago, and ships have recommenced transit through the channel. We expect that it'll take approximately a week to move the complete queue of vessels through the canal, conditional to safety and other operational circumstances.
We've earlier communicated that even when reopened, the blockage of the Suez Canal would have ripple effects on global supply chains for weeks to come. We are doing our utmost to mitigate the impact and minimise the total impact of our customers’ supply chains.
At this point in time, we estimate that the ripple effects could have an impact on our ocean network capacity for the coming several weeks. We're working hard to get a full overview and to build contingency plans, but we anticipate a significant loss of capacity over multiple weeks, depending on market dynamics. Next week we'll be able to share more detailed plans.
We expect severe port congestions to come as ships will be arriving to ports out of their slotted time, leading to a need for adjusting the service rotations to limit the overall loss of our ocean network capacity.
Due to foreseeable limitations of space and equipment in the coming weeks, we advise you to prioritise your most critical goods to be shipped first and to ensure to return empty equipment immediately.
We regret the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business in a time where certain industries may already be stretched due to the pandemic.
As we're all in this together, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Sealand - A Maersk Company representative for any urgent questions or shipment concerns. We're also open to talk to you about alternative transportation options to get your cargo moving as fast as possible.
March 30, 2021 - Update 1
As you're aware of, since March 23 the Suez Canal passage has been blocked in both directions as a container ship operated by Evergreen Marine ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway due to strong winds.
After several days with dredging and excavation, we've now received information that the vessel has been refloated. It's not yet fully dislodged and it's too early to say when the Suez Canal will be cleared for operations again, but we are monitoring the situation closely.
Currently, the Maersk Group and partners have three vessels stuck in the canal and 29 vessels waiting to enter. Assessing the current backlog of vessels, it could take 6 days or more for the complete queue to pass, conditional to safety and operational circumstances, and therefore the estimate is subject to change. Numbers show that over 300 ships are now waiting at anchorage to pass through the canal, and there's still a steady inflow.
Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant, and the blockage has already triggered a series of further disruptions in global shipping that could take weeks, possibly months, to unravel.
Your supply chain is a core concern to us, and we'll do our utmost to mitigate the impact as best as we can. We aim to give as much clarity as soon we know how the blockage and the ripple effects will impact the intra-European network. We'll directly contact impacted customers once we have an overview of the required contingency plans of our services.
We're working hard to manage the impact as much as possible - both operationally and commercially. We've already started to proactively manage our capacity and will not be accepting cargo where we can't ensure space. Our partners are also looking into the impacts on flows in hubs and key terminals, trying to avoid flooding of cargo. We're all in this situation together, and therefore we would appreciate if you can help with returning equipment faster.
While out of our control, we apologise for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business, and for critical shipments we recommend you to reach out to your local Sealand - A Maersk Company representative. Thank you for your understanding.