A giant container ship that's some 2.20 lakh tonne and 400 metre-long is currently blocking the Egypt's Suez Canal, single-handedly bringing the global trade to a halt. This is the worst maritime nightmare as one of the world's busiest shipping trade lanes has come to a standstill as hundreds of container ships wait to pass through.
The 200,000-tonne Ever Given container ship was en route to the Mediterranean from China Red Sea when it got itself in a "never before seen" scenario. The 400-meter long and 59-meter wide vessel lodged sideways while making transit through the tunnel, with no way out. While the exact cause for the situation remains unknown at this point, ship operator Evergreen Marine Corp told AFP that the "container accidentally ran aground after a suspected gust of wind hit it."
Several photos of the vessel blocking the narrow canal have gone viral on social media and has everyone talking about it. But what caught everyone's attention is the tiny excavator trying to free the giant container ship.
Netizens can't keep it together
As usual memes galore upon witnessing the digger single-handedly trying to rescue a container 1000 times its size. It is trying to chip away the ground to leave more passage for the ship to re-float. The results aside, netizens have taken notice of the action of one excavator and came up with some hilarious reactions.
The real impact
The crucial artery canal is one of the world's most important trade routes, which accounts for 10 percent of all international maritime trade. Nearly 190,000 ships passed through the man-made canal last year alone carrying more than one billion tonnes of cargo. The canal is a crucial source of income for Egypt, which made a whopping $5.6 billion in revenues in 2020.
"Every day, 50 vessels on average go through that canal, so the closing of the canal means no vessels are transiting north and south," Salvatore R. Mercogliano, a former merchant mariner and associate professor of history at North Carolina's Campbell University told the AP. "Every day the canal is closed ... container ships and tankers are not delivering food, fuel and manufactured goods to Europe and goods are not being exported from Europe to the Far East."
This gridlock is costing every seafaring nation millions of dollars by the hour.