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Suez Canal blockage could affect shipments to Canada, experts say

An Egyptian official says efforts to refloat the ship are underway and will take at least two days
In this photo released by the Suez Canal Authority, a boat navigates in front of a cargo ship, Ever Given, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, after it become wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal and blocked all traffic in the vital waterway. An Egyptian official warned Wednesday it could take at least two days to clear the ship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Suez Canal Authority via AP

The grounding of a skyscraper-sized container ship in the Suez Canal has the potential to disrupt shipments from Asia to ports in Montreal and Halifax, industry experts and shipping companies say.

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, became wedged across the waterway on Tuesday, blocking traffic in one of the world’s most vital corridors for international trade.

Johanna Stroex says that although the majority of cargo from Asia travels to Canada via the Pacific Ocean, there is a portion that comes through the Suez Canal.

The spokeswoman for a major container shipping company says goods mainly transported to Canada along those routes are retail and consumer goods.

An Egyptian official says efforts to refloat the ship are underway and will take at least two days.

Evergreen Marine Corp., the Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.

READ MORE: Massive cargo ship becomes wedged, blocks Egypt’s Suez Canal

—With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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