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project44 Tracking Shows Scope of Growing Suez Canal Congestion and Supply Chain Delays

A growing number of ships are currently trapped in the Suez Canal after the 20,000 TEU Evergreen container vessel Ever Given ran aground Tuesday at 7:40 am local time.

Ships Trapped in the Suez Canal

The incident is going to worsen major shipment delays as traffic on one of the world’s business waterways grinds to a halt.

As of March 24, 3:50 pm CET, supply chain visibility company project44 was tracking 34 container vessels either immobilized in the canal, or en route to the zone, representing 379,200 TEUs of capacity.

Every hour, more vessels, including container ships, oil tankers, RoRo vessels, and bulk carriers, are being backed up in the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south.

project44’s visibility software is monitoring the incident, giving customers automatic alerts if their containers are affected by the grounding.

Ocean Insights, a project44 company, has also been providing real-time vessel positions and incident alerts through its Container Track & Trace Product.

Container Track and Trace: Effortless Supply Chain Visibility Powered by Outstanding Data Quality

Ocean Insights, a project44 company, Container Track and Trace

Using Ocean Insights Container Track and Trace, customers experience a 40% increase in data quality. It translates to higher shipping reliability, fewer incidents, and supply chain disruptions that arose from unforeseen delays. Operation personnel no longer need to spend their time tracking containers but can focus on delivering value-add tasks. World-class container tracker at your fingertips.

Trapped Ships

The trapped ships are waiting for engineers to free the grounded vessel, which could take days to complete according to local authorities.

With more than 50 ships passing through the canal on any given day, the congestion is growing worse by the hour.

There are reports that Suez Canal authorities may open an older channel to ease traffic.

Jett McCandless, CEO of project44

“It’s another big blow to global trade in an already back-logged and battered supply chain year,” said Jett McCandless, CEO of project44.

“The Suez Canal supports some 10% of global trade - and now the Evergreen vessel has single-handedly put a stop-block in both directions to that vital trade route between Asia and Europe. If they can’t dislodge it with tugs at high tide, they will have to start removing containers to lighten the load and refloat her.”

Read: Ocean Insights Spotlights Ongoing Port Congestions and Shipment Delays

Download a (PDF) spreadsheet detailing the number and size of ships, and their positions currently affected by the incident.

Latest Updates on Ships Trapped in the Suez Canal

Breaking News: Elite Team Set to Tackle Massive Ship Blocking Suez Canal

Press Release

42.5% Increase in Stranded Vessel Capacity in Less Than 24 Hours

With reports that it could take weeks to dislodge the container ship currently blocking the Suez Canal, and that containers might have to be unloaded to free the grounded vessel, supply chain visibility company project44 is projecting worsening delays across European ports in the weeks ahead. For supply chains already struggling with multi-week delays, the Suez Canal incident is on track to further disrupt business across the globe.

As of Thursday, March 25, 10:30 am CET, project44’s tracking showed 47 container vessels representing 540,716 TEUs vessel capacity currently impacted, a 42.5 percent increase over the 379,200 TEUs reported yesterday. Moreover, the chances of a quick solution seem to have disappeared.

Many waiting ships are mega-vessels navigating the Asia-Euro route, making mul-tiple stops in European ports. With even more cargo waiting at Chinese ports for vessels to transport it to those European markets, the delays are equally problematic in the Euro-Asia direction. Given the number of vessels that are affected, carriers' networks could be disrupted for weeks and months.

More than ever, visibility into floating inventory is critical. The ability to divert cargo, manage expectations, and make adjustments in real-time is imperative for shippers.

“Once the log-jam is broken, major ports in Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg will be swamped,” said Jett McCandless, CEO of project44.

“That congestion will have rolling effects further down the supply chain for months to come, exacerbating an already problematic  situation at major European ports. With inventories dropping as a result, unfortunately that means the costs will be passed on to the consumer.”


The Evolution Of Traffic Transiting The Suez Canal

The annual number of vessels and net tonnage transiting the Suez Canal

The annual number of vessels and net tonnage transiting the Suez Canal

Source: Suez Canal Authority | Statista

The Suez Canal was opened in 1869 and the number of vessels transiting it has increased swiftly over the years. The most recent statistics from the Suez Canal Authority show that the number of vessels passing through it soared dramatically in the late 1970s while tonnage experienced noticeable growth just after the turn of the century. In 2020, nearly 19,000 ships transited the Suez Canal, averaging 51.5 per day. Vessels have grown in size and capacity and 1.17 billion net tons were handled by the crucial artery last year.

About project44

project44 is the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions. Leveraging the power of the project44 cloud-based platform, organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve shipping performance, and deliver an exceptional Amazon-like experience to their customers. Connected to thousands of carriers worldwide and having comprehensive coverage for all ELD and telematics devices on the market, pro-ject44 supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including Air, Parcel, Final-Mile, Less-than-Truckload, Volume Less-than-Truckload, Groupage, Truck-load, Rail, Intermodal, and Ocean.

Article issued on behalf of project44 by Charlie Pesti

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project44 is a forward-thinking technology company that provides standardized, secure web service API integrations that allow shippers and 3PLs to connect to carriers in real-time – eliminating the use of EDI and instantly creating a better experience for customers. project44 is an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that uses cloud-based freight APIs to instantly connect shippers and 3PLs to capacity. Our solution integrates into the Transportation Management System (TMS) that you already use, replacing unreliable EDI connections with fast and accurate web service APIs.

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