Update to Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal

27 March 2021

The Suez Canal passage continues to be 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 and sandstorms early Tuesday March 23.

Whilst efforts to dislodge the Evergreen vessel from the Suez Canal continue, hundreds of ships are caught up in the traffic in both directions.

The Suez Canal has a daily capacity of approximately 50 - 85 vessels, with vessels entering from both sides.

This navigation simulation from the official Suez Canal Authority (SCA) illustrates the margins very well.


Video by A.P. Moller - Maersk Group

Once the canal is reopened, convoys would aim to run continuously. They are assessing the current backlog of vessels as of the 27th of March, and we would expect that it would take 3-6 days for the complete queue to pass, conditional to safety and other operational circumstances.

As more vessels either reach the blockage or is redirected, this is an estimate and is subject to change. Currently we (Maersk and partners) have 22 vessels waiting to enter the canal, with 4-5 expected to reach the blockage today.

While ETAs are jeopardized as salvage efforts continue, it is too early to indicate the total delay of our vessels.



Update to Vessel blockage in the Suez Canal

March 27, 2021

The Suez Canal passage continues to be 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 and sandstorms early Tuesday March 23.

Whilst efforts to dislodge the Evergreen vessel from the Suez Canal continue, hundreds of ships are caught up in the traffic snarl in both directions. For every day that passes, more vessels will reach the blockage. To give you as much visibility into the situation as possible, please see the planned schedule for Maersk and partner vessels for the next two weeks here.

As you can see from our web advisory, the current number redirected Maersk and partner vessels is 14 and expected to rise as we assess the salvage efforts along with network capacity and fuel on our vessels currently en route to Suez.

While ETAs are jeopardized as salvage efforts continue, it is too early to indicate the delay, as we are doing our utmost to mitigate this. Please note that you can use our interactive map functionality to track any Maersk vessel in real time and gain access to AI-powered predictive analysis and estimated times of arrival (ETA) via our Hub. Click here to login to the Hub.

As a customer of Maersk, your cargo might also be on another vessel from a different operator than the above. All Maersk customers, whose cargo is directly impacted by the current situation, will receive specific information regarding detailed schedule changes and alternative options provided once we have the full overview.

For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase. The impact will continue well beyond the physical removal of the vessel and we are working hard to manage the impact as much as possible – both operationally and commercially. We have already started to proactively manage our capacity will not be accepting cargo where we cannot ensure space. Throughout this process we aim to give as much clarity and notice as possible. We are all in this situation together and everyone needs to collaborate towards mitigating the situation, for instance working to return equipment faster.

While out of our control, we apologize for the inconvenience this incident may cause to your business and for critical shipments we recommend that you reach out to your local sales representative for dialogues and quotations on alternative solutions, such as air and rail for urgent cargo that is still at origin or elsewhere.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your local Maersk representative should you have any further questions.

About A.P. Moller - Maersk
A.P. Moller - Maersk is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As the global leader in shipping services, the company operates in 130 countries and employs roughly 80,000 people.

A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, press release