The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a statement on the ongoing blockage of the Suez Canal by the ship Ever Given, noting that the incident lays bare the fragility of global supply chains.
“The majority of trade between Asia and Europe still relies on the Suez Canal, and given that vital goods including vital medical equipment and PPE, are moving via these ships we call on the Egyptian authorities to do all they can to reopen the canal as soon as possible.”
An estimated 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, comprising more than one billion tonnes of goods each year.
Guy Platten continued: “Not only will the goods aboard the Ever Given be severely delayed on their journey, but the hundreds of other ships are also affected. The damage done to the global supply chain will be significant.”
“This also speaks to a deeper problem. The governments and markets are sitting up and paying attention to this issue as we can clearly see an economic fallout from the delay to goods the blockage will cause. But shipping’s ongoing crew change crisis has been largely still invisible to the wider public. The crew is still working hard around the globe to keep global trade moving, despite 200,000 seafarers being impacted by overly harsh restrictions which stop them boarding or disembarking ships.”
“We hope this incident will remind governments of the vital role that seafarers and shipping plays in keeping the world supplied. Seafarers must not be forgotten as soon as this incident is over.”