Tag Archives: Canal

Holidays 2021: Gloucester and Sharpness Canal is a haven for nature lovers

Holidays: Michael O’Leary slams UK travel restrictions

It has to be said that the rowers, from the local club based on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, know what they’re doing. Many have put their oar in for Britain. As Steve, our genial captain aboard the MV Edward Elgar, explained when he gave me a quick tour of the bridge, he has to be mindful and respectful of other waterway users, which he was as we chugged along at often well below the maximum speed limit of 6mph. And this was a whistle-stop tour; usually it would have been a two-night adventure, but we got the potted highlights with just a single night on board. That said, we were treated royally, with a crew who could not do enough to entertain us, keep us fed and watered, and indeed safe.

Boarding was at Alexandra Quay. If some of us were a touch unsteady going up the gangway (luggage thankfully having been taken aboard for us), it may have had something to do with our brief pre-cruise tour of the Gloucester Brewery micro-brewery, shop and tasting room in Fox’s Kiln – staggering distance from the boat.

We saw the processes that led to shelves stacked with their own beer, vodka and flavoured gins, the latter infused with local fruit.

Glasses were clinked and samples enjoyed. The packing room was evidence of people’s changing habits, with growing numbers having booze shipped to their home the next day rather than having to shop in ­person.

Then it was on board for a welcome drink – and it was all downstream from there.

A cream tea followed after we slipped the quay berth and headed out of the city – Steve having booked a few minutes’ disturbance for motorists on Netheridge Bridge, just off the A38, which was dutifully swung open for us.

The MV Edward Elgar is the largest-capacity inland hotel boat in the UK. At 88ft long, and with 11 twin cabins and three decks, it was built to be as big as it could be and still fit through the canal system’s locks, and slide under bridges. It can be a squeeze.

Gloucester and Sharpness Canal

The MV Edward Elgar offers a warm welcome (Image: PR Handout)

“There are some bridges where, if the water is high, you have to time your journey,” says Steve. “And a couple where we go into Ikea-mode – the glass around the bridge and the railings up top, fold down.”

Thankfully, we didn’t need to duck or breathe in.

It was a relaxing trip from the off as we glided south towards Purton and Sharpness, where the canal runs close to the Severn. We found out just how close after a pleasant three-course dinner when we moored at Purton to see the incredible Hulks.

It’s a ships’ graveyard with a purpose. In 1909, the canal banks were breached, and thus was hatched a cunning plan to beach abandoned boats and ships, some deliberately laden with concrete or simply run aground and left to nature. Some are now lost to view, but most have still been mapped and commemorated.

You can see some poking partially through the dunes where barely 50 yards separates the 16.5-mile canal, hand-dug for its opening in 1827, from the country’s longest and most violently tidal river. One, the schooner Katherine Ellen, we learned, had been impounded in 1921 for running guns to the IRA.

We got to know more of our fellow guests – aided by Captain’s Cocktails – as we sat in the main saloon, our tables all screened in a Covid-secure way. Our cabin, complete with single bunks, toilet and shower, was downstairs.

Next morning, after a cooked breakfast, we headed back north, stopping at Patch Bridge. Our destination was barely a quarter of a mile away, but our hosts put on a coach for those who, having negotiated the sodden towpath, didn’t fancy the walk to the brilliant Wildlife and Wetland Trust site at Slimbridge, where the stars of the show were the pelicans.

Set up in the 1940s by naturalist Sir Peter Scott, who lived in a cottage on site for six years, the WWT has avocets, cranes, geese, ducks and swans.

Other species, such as peregrine and merlin, are seasonal visitors. The Sloane Observation Tower provides far-reaching views towards the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean.

We had a roast lunch as we meandered back to Gloucester, but first a talk on the work of the local Canal Trust, and how lockdowns have hit their pockets. However, their sterling efforts have continued, preserving waterways and bringing back to life other neglected or forgotten passages.


Swans soar above a lake at Slimbridge Wetland Centre (Image: Getty)


Slimbridge Wetland Centre is home to beautiful flamingos (Image: PR Handout)

It was our first river cruise but it won’t be our last. We liked the pace of the weekend, and the attention to detail of Jay and his team from English Holiday Cruises.

They operate on the Severn between Gloucester and Stourport and on the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal and offer a range of packages with different stop-offs.

They will even organise an extra night in Gloucester to round off your trip, which we did independently, taking in the magnificent Cathedral.

Pilgrims have visited the site since the 600s and latter-day pilgrims include fans of Harry Potter, with scenes having been filmed in the cloisters. It also has the grave of Edward II, who met his violent end at nearby Berkeley Castle.

The city, once the country’s second largest inland port after London, has some wonderful old buildings, such as the restored Robert Raikes House, a timbered pub with an attractive walled garden.

But we gravitated back towards the Quays, which has been beautifully restored and hosts museums dedicated to the Soldiers of Gloucestershire and the National Waterways, as well as the intriguing Mariners’ Chapel.

If you have designs on a relaxing few days’ break, messing about on the river could be for you.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Turkey's banks shy away from Erdogan's 'crazy' canal – sources

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

2/2 Exclusive: Turkey's banks shy away from Erdogan's 'crazy' canal - sources© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wait in line to submit their petitions opposing a massive canal project in Istanbul 2/2

By Ebru Tuncay and Can Sezer

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Some of Turkey’s biggest banks are reluctant to finance President Tayyip Erdogan’s planned Istanbul canal due to environmental concerns and the investment risks hanging over the massive construction project, four senior bankers told Reuters.

Two of the sources said a global sustainability pact that six of Turkey’s top banks have signed was a barrier to funding the Kanal Istanbul, which Erdogan dubbed his “crazy project” when he floated it a decade ago.

The government expects to break ground in June on the canal, which would connect the Black Sea to the north with the Marmara Sea to the south, running 45 km (28 miles) through marshland, farms and towns on the western edge of the city.

Erdogan says the canal would protect the Bosphorus Strait, which runs through the heart of Istanbul, by diverting traffic.

Yet Istanbul’s mayor, engineers and, according to one poll, most citizens, oppose the project on enviromental grounds, saying it would destroy a marine ecosystem and resources that supply almost a third of the city’s fresh water. https://reut.rs/3nnWmQN

Russia, meanwhile, has signalled unease about the project on security grounds as the canal would open a second passage to the Black Sea, which is home to a Russian naval fleet.

“I don’t think we can take part in the funding of Kanal Istanbul,” said a senior banker who requested anonymity. “It may trigger some environmental issues.”

Six Turkish banks, including Garanti Bank, Is Bank and Yapi Kredi, have signed the U.N.-backed Principles for Responsible Banking framework which calls on signatories to avoid harming people and the planet.

“Definitely we don’t want to give a loan to this kind of project because of the environmental issues,” a second senior banker told Reuters, adding that signatory banks must abide by the U.N.-backed sustainability pact.

In 2019, the canal’s price tag was estimated at 75 million lira – or $ 13 billion at the time – in a government report.


The reluctance of some Turkish lenders to finance the project makes it more likely state and foreign financing will have to play a bigger role for Erdogan’s dream to come true.

A Finance Ministry spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Asked whether Turkish banks would participate in the financing, Erdogan’s spokesman and adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, told Reuters the project would “certainly” attract investors and creditors when tenders are held soon.

Garanti Bank declined to comment. Is Bank and Yapi Kredi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Denizbank and state-owned Vakifbank also declined to comment on the canal’s financing while Akbank and state lenders Halkbank and Ziraat Bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The cost of the canal would eclipse other mega projects such as Istanbul’s vast new airport that have defined Erdogan’s legacy of credit-driven growth.

Massive foreign short-term debt worth some $ 150 billion for banks and companies has dogged the lira and laid bare the risks of Turkey’s depleted foreign exchange reserves.

A currency crisis in 2018 delayed the canal project but it is back on the agenda as the economy rebounds from the pandemic and the government approved development plans last month.

In an interview on Sunday, Erdogan’s adviser Kalin said there was already interest in the bidding that would be open to all including Turkish, European, American and Chinese firms.

“It’s a profitable project … and we are positive it will move forward,” he told Reuters.


But for most of Turkey’s banks, especially lenders with European backers and those involved in loan syndications, the risks would likely be too high, the sources said.

They said taking on such a large project could limit their capacity to carry out further loan syndications while there was also a risk the project could be torpedoed at a later stage.

“No Turkish bank, neither state nor private, could take that risk,” said a former senior banker.

Turkey’s environment ministry has carried out environmental assessments which cleared the way for the project to proceed.

But European backers of Turkish banks would probably not see a Turkish environmental stamp of approval as credible, the former banker said.

“This is one of those white elephants. Other than land price speculation, it is hard to see any value in it,” he said.

The canal would destroy a marine ecosystem and basins that provide nearly a third of Istanbul’s fresh water, according to the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects.

Moscow is concerned the canal might not be covered by the Montreux Convention that restricts foreign warships’ access to the Black Sea through the Bosphorus Strait.

A Turkish official said in 2019 that the new canal would not be covered by the convention, which dates back to 1936.

This month, amid a build-up of Russia’s navy near Ukraine, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin told Erdogan on a call that the convention must be observed.

A fourth banker also said that given opposition parties oppose the project, construction could halt if Erdogan’s ruling AK Party is ousted. Presidential elections are set for 2023.

“The size of the project is tremendously big. It has reputational risks and loan risk,” the person said. “It also still seems like government’s pet project.”

($ 1 = 8.2920 liras)

The great British garden-gnome famine: Elf is on the way after Suez Canal snarl-up & Covid deprive UK of beloved ornaments

Supply chain issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and the latest accident in the Suez Canal have led to a nationwide shortage of garden gnomes in Britain, as lawn-ornament figurines are selling like hotcakes during lockdowns.

Garden centres were open during all the three lockdowns in the country, encouraging a real boom in sales of lawn gnomes and other outdoor furniture when Brits were forced to stick to their homes.

“We haven’t seen a gnome in six months now, unfortunately,” Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, told the BBC, stressing that the retailer had seen a “massive upswing” in sales of lawn ornaments.
Also on rt.com Post-Covid shopping frenzy: UK footfall surges 218% as Brits rush to re-opened stores & shopping centers
Garden centres in Britain and all across Europe are reportedly booming, causing inevitable issues with supply that are becoming even more complicated because of the latest accident in the Suez Canal. In March, the centres were reportedly 97% busier compared to same period in 2019.

“Raw materials are becoming a bit of an issue and unfortunately gnomes are a victim of that shortage of supply. Gnomes of any type, plastic, stone or concrete, are in short supply,” Byrne said, adding that the figurines have gained huge popularity over the last couple of seasons.

Last month, the Suez Canal, one of the world’s crucial waterways, remained blocked for six days after the 400-meter container vessel ‘Ever Given’ got stuck there. The blockage of the trade artery, which accounts for about 15% of global shipping traffic, reportedly cost global trade $ 10 billion a week, putting supply chains, already hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, under immense pressure.
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Logistics companies were forced to reroute some ships, thus increasing their losses.

“With goods arriving from abroad, garden centres were affected by the ship getting stuck in the canal as much as any other industry. Garden furniture, ornaments, of which gnomes would be some, being stuck in containers trying to come over here,” Garden Centre Association chief executive Iain Wylie told the media.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


This article originally appeared on RT Business News

Suez Canal blockage proves relevance of alternative Russia-Iran-India trade route, Foreign Minister Lavrov says

The traffic jam in the Suez Canal that threatened to further shatter global trade has shown the importance of alternative routes, like the one linking Russia and India via Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

The multinational trade link, officially known as the North–South International Transport Corridor (ITC), is one of the major infrastructure projects in the region, the Russian diplomat said in a recent interview to IRNA news agency. He added that the route could be a “basis for the creation of a single ‘seamless’ transport, logistics, and economic space” between Iran and Russia, which will host most of the corridor’s land route.
Also on rt.com Russia may offer effective alternative to Suez Canal, and it’s NOT Northern Sea Route – tycoon 
“Addressing such a task appears especially relevant at the moment when the recent incident with the blocking of the Suez Canal has highlighted the need for reliable land transport routes,” Lavrov said. 

In March, the narrow but vital waterway along Egypt, which accounts for about 15% of global shipping traffic, remained blocked for six days after a massive container ship got stuck there. The blockage of the shipping artery resulted in losses for shippers and forced some to reroute their vessels. It also put more pressure on supply chains, which were previously crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. 
Also on rt.com Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal
Both Russia and Iran have been investing in infrastructure projects that are necessary for the implementation of the North–South ITC. According to Lavrov, Russia launched relevant plans and programs, including for the Caspian Sea region. Meanwhile, Tehran is building approaches to the Anzali Free Trade Zone, which has maritime links with ports in the Caspian Sea basin.

“This will substantially boost the competitiveness of the North–South ITC and its attractiveness for shippers,” the foreign minister noted. 

The 7,200-kilometer-long trade route is set to connect Russia, India, Iran and Azerbaijan. Trade via the North–South ITC is expected to benefit companies, allowing them to lower shipping times and cut transportation costs.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

This article originally appeared on RT Business News

Russia may offer effective alternative to Suez Canal, and it’s NOT Northern Sea Route – tycoon 

Russia’s Arctic sea route is not the only alternative Russia could provide to the Suez Canal, which was blocked for six days in March, forcing global carriers to reroute ships and challenging international supply chains.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska expressed the hope that Russian Railways, the country’s state-run monopoly, would take a fresh look at the country’s transportation services in the light of the catastrophic event on one of the world’s most important waterways.

According to the businessman, Russia has several projects that could easily become an adequate substitute for the Egyptian canal, the most important of which is the upgrading of the Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East.
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“China doubled cargo-trafficked goods by rail through Russia and Asia in the first two months of the current year, as rising prices and the long sea delivery are forcing Beijing to increase rail transportation,” the founder of the world’s second-largest aluminum company said on Telegram.

He added that the blockage of the Suez Canal should persuade the international community to rapidly develop railway transportation from Asia to Europe.

“The most obvious and economically justified goal is to turn Russia into a major hub that could become a fully functional link between Europe and Asia,” Deripaska said.
Also on rt.com Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal
The Suez Canal, which accounts for about 15% of all shipping traffic, was blocked when the 400-meter container vessel ‘Ever Given’ was grounded across the waterway. The blockage placed immense pressure on supply chains, and could reportedly have cost global trade up to $ 10 billion a week.

Deripaska stressed that the reconstruction of the key railway line, the so-called ‘Siberian Cedar Road,’ could even become a competitive alternative to the new Chinese ‘Silk Road’ connecting central Asia with Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


Oil sinks as Suez Canal container ship successfully refloated

The price of crude oil slumped more than 2% on Monday following news from the Suez Canal that salvage crews have managed to move the giant container ship that has been blocking the vital global trade passage for nearly a week.

International benchmark Brent fell 2.1% to $ 63.19 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate dropped 2.4% to $ 59.49 per barrel. 

The stranded ‘Ever Given’ ship was successfully refloated on March 29 and was being secured, a global provider of marine services, Inchcape Shipping, said on Twitter.

The breakthrough came after intensive efforts that saw 10 tugboats work to push and pull the ship as several dredgers vacuumed up the sand at spring tide. It’s still unclear when the canal will reopen for traffic now that the vessel has been dislodged, Inchcape Shipping added.

The 224,000-ton container has been stuck and clogging up the waterway since Tuesday last week after it lost the ability to steer amid massive winds and a sandstorm. The incident caused the temporary suspension of navigation in the Suez Canal, delaying hundreds of other container ships, bulk carriers and oil-laden tankers.

Oil prices have swung wildly since then as traders and investors tried to weigh the impact of the blockage of the trade transit point. According to a senior market analyst at OANDA, Jeffrey Halley, oil market volatility is set to continue.

“Given the volatility last week, Brent looks set to move to the lower end of its $ 60.00 to $ 65.00 a barrel range,” he said as quoted by Reuters. US oil is “likely to drop to the lower side of its $ 57.50 to $ 62.50 a barrel weekly range.”
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Analysts say that prices are getting some support from expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will maintain lower output levels when they meet this week.

“With the Suez and OPEC+ uncertainties on top of a foggy demand picture, we may see big mood swings and high intraday volatility,” Vandana Hari, founder of consultancy Vanda Insights, told Bloomberg, adding, “I don’t see how OPEC+, or the Saudis, could risk putting more oil into the market after the downward pressure on crude of the past fortnight.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


Jeremy Clarkson quips 'accident-prone' co-star is 'responsible' for Suez Canal crisis

“We were in Egypt last week, trying to get from Port Said, on the Mediterranean, to the small village of Abu Sultan, on the Red Sea.”

He went on to describe the choices of vehicles he, Hammond and James May chose in order to embark on their journey, and strongly implied that one of his co-stars might have had something to do with the crisis.

“I chose a dune buggy and went through the desert, James May used a steam train and went through Saudi Arabia,” he continued.

“And the accident-prone Richard Hammond took command of a container ship called Ever Given and attempted to make the journey using the Suez Canal.”

Suez Canal latest: Container ship stuck 'partially refloated'

SUEZ, Egypt — A canal services firm says that salvage teams have “partially refloated” the colossal container ship that remains wedged across the Suez Canal, without providing further details about when the vessel would be set free.Leth Agencies said early Monday that the modest breakthrough came after intensive efforts to push and pull the ship with 10 tugboats and vacuum up sand with several dredgers at spring tide. The firm said it was awaiting confirmation of the refloating from the Suez Canal Authority.

RELATED: Ship stuck in Suez Canal may cause gas prices to go up, experts say[1]Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued “pulling maneuvers” to refloat the vessel early Monday.

Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the ship in the same position, surrounded by a squadron of tugboats with its bow stuck in the canal’s eastern bank.

MORE: How did the Suez Canal cargo ship get stuck? What we know about blockage, effect on supply chain[2]

The skyscraper-sized Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal last Tuesday and has held up $ 9 billion in global trade each day, bringing disruption to the vital waterway. Already, hundreds vessels remained trapped in the canal waiting to pass, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle. Over two dozen vessels have opted for the alternative route between Asia and Europe around the Cape of Good Hope, adding some two weeks to journeys and threatening delivery delays.

Previous coverage

Two additional tugboats sped Sunday to Egypt’s Suez Canal to aid efforts to free a skyscraper-sized container ship wedged for days across the crucial waterway, even as major shippers increasingly divert their boats out of fear the vessel may take even longer to free.

The massive Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, got stuck Tuesday in a single-lane stretch of the canal. In the time since, authorities have been unable to remove the vessel and traffic through the canal – valued at over $ 9 billion a day – has been halted, further disrupting a global shipping network already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch-flagged Alp Guard and the Italian-flagged Carlo Magno, called in to help tugboats already there, reached the Red Sea near the city of Suez early Sunday, satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed. The tugboats will nudge the 400-meter-long (quarter-mile-long) Ever Given as dredgers continue to vacuum up sand from underneath the vessel and mud caked to its port side, said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which manages the Ever Given.

Excavators dug Sunday on the eastern wall of the Suez Canal, hoping to free the bulbous bow of the Ever Given that plowed into the embankment, satellite photos showed.

Workers planned to make two attempts Sunday to free the vessel coinciding with high tides helped by a full moon Sunday night, a top pilot with the canal authority said. The full moon offers a spring tide, or king tide, in which high tides are higher and the low tides are lower because of the effects of gravity during a straight-line alignment of the Earth, the moon and the sun.”Sunday is very critical,” the pilot said. “It will determine the next step, which highly likely involves at least the partial offloading of the vessel.”

Taking containers off the ship likely would add even more days to the canal’s closure, something authorities have been desperately trying to avoid. It also would require a crane and other equipment that have yet to arrive.

The pilot spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists.

On Saturday, the head of the Suez Canal Authority told journalists that strong winds were “not the only cause” for the Ever Given running aground, appearing to push back against conflicting assessments offered by others. Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei said an investigation was ongoing but did not rule out human or technical error.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement maintains that their “initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding.” However, at least one initial report suggested a “blackout” struck the hulking vessel carrying some 20,000 containers at the time of the incident.

Rabei said he remained hopeful that dredging could free the ship without having to resort to removing its cargo, but added that “we are in a difficult situation, it’s a bad incident.”

Asked about when they expected to free the vessel and reopen the canal, he said: “I can’t say because I do not know.”

Speaking on Sunday to the pro-government Egyptian television channel Extra News, Rabei said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi had ordered the canal authority to prepare for all options, including taking containers off of the vessel. He said officials had been in talks with the U.S. about that possibility, without elaborating.

Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the company that owns the vessel, said it was considering removing containers if other refloating efforts failed.

The Ever Given is wedged about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the canal’s Red Sea entrance near the city of Suez.A prolonged closure of the crucial waterway would cause delays in the global shipment chain. Some 19,000 vessels passed through the canal last year, according to official figures. About 10% of world trade flows through the canal. The closure could affect oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East. Already, Syria has begun rationing the distribution of fuel in the war-torn country amid concerns of delays of shipments arriving amid the blockage.

As of early Sunday, over 320 ships waited to travel through the Suez, either to the Mediterranean or the Red Sea, according to canal services firm Leth Agencies. At least 10 of those vessels carried livestock, raising concerns about the animals. Rabei told the Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya that authorities planned to offer provisions to help them.

Dozens of others still listed their destination as the canal, though shippers increasingly appear to be avoiding the passage.

The world’s biggest shipping company, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, warned its customers that it would take anywhere from three to six days to clear the backlog of vessels at the canal. Already, the firm and its partners have 27 ships waiting to enter the canal, with three stuck in the waterway itself and two more coming Sunday.

“We have until now redirected 15 vessels where we deemed the delay of sailing around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa equal to the current delay of sailing to Suez and queuing.” the shipper said.

Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world’s second-largest shipper, said it already had rerouted at least 11 ships around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the canal. It turned back two other ships and said it expected “some missed sailings as a result of this incident.”

“MSC expects this incident to have a very significant impact on the movement of containerized goods, disrupting supply chains beyond the existing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.


Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre and Malak Harb in Dubai contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


Global carriers forced to reroute ships to avoid massive Suez Canal traffic jam

Around a dozen tankers and container ships have been diverted from the Suez Canal as leading transport companies are looking for alternative routes to avoid the vital trade artery along Egypt that remains blocked.

Two container ships operated by French shipping and logistics giant CMA CGM Group changed course and were heading towards the Cape of Good Hope, the company revealed on Saturday. At the same time, the group is considering alternative maritime, rail, and air routes for cargo yet to be loaded, while at least 10 of its ships were still waiting to pass through the narrow but vital waterway.
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At least 10 vessels, including oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, also changed course not to get stuck in the logjam in the Suez Canal, CNBC reported. According to MarineTraffic spokesman Georgios Hatzimanolis, Cheniere and Shell tankers were heading towards the Cape of Good Hope like some of the ships operated by CMA CGM Group.

Read more Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal

“From Asia to Europe we are seeing ships divert in the Indian Ocean, just below the southern tip of Sri Lanka,” he told CNBC, adding that the number of diverted ships could rise if the situation drags on.

The Suez Canal – an important global shipping route accounting for about 15% of world shipping traffic – has been blocked since Tuesday, when one of the world’s largest container ships, the Ever Given, got stuck there. The blockage of the waterway has put more pressure on already strained supply chains, and could cost global trade up to $ 10 billion a week, according to German insurer Allianz.

However, not all companies are rushing to reroute their vessels. Over 300 ships carrying various cargoes are still waiting to pass the 193km (120 mile) canal, as an alternate route may add up to two weeks to their journeys and send shipping costs soaring.

Tugboats and dredgers have been working to free the 400-meter-long ship, and it finally moved on Saturday evening. While strong tides and winds are complicating the work to dislodge the giant vessel, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie said on Saturday that he expects the ship could slide and move from the spot it’s in at any moment.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


Egypt may offer discounts for ships left stranded by Suez Canal blockage

The state-owned authority operating the Suez Canal is considering some financial initiatives for vessels that were unable to pass through the vital waterway blocked by a skyscraper-sized container ship.

The Ever Given, which has been stuck in the canal since Tuesday, created a backlog of nearly 370 vessels, including 25 oil tankers, Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, told Al Arabiya on Sunday. He added that the authority is working to meet the logistical needs of the stuck vessels and may provide discounts for them. Rabie did not elaborate on the details of the initiative, and it is unclear which ships would qualify for it. 

The blockage costs the canal $ 13-14 million in lost revenue daily, he said.
Also on rt.com Shutoffs at world’s major trade routes evolving as Europe’s busiest freight line remains closed & cargo still stuck in Egypt
The operation to free one of the world’s biggest container ships made some progress over the weekend. More than 20,000 tons of sand and mud were removed, allowing the Ever Given’s bow and stern to be loosened. The rescue operation continued on Sunday, but it is still unclear when traffic through the Suez Canal will fully resume. Some carriers have already diverted their ships from the waterway to avoid the gridlock.

However, the authorities are bracing for the worst. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ordered that preparations be made to remove some of the ship’s cargo to help refloat it, Rabie said. It was initially hoped that this type of operation could be avoided, at it would require more time.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section