A Huge Boat Gets Stuck in One of the Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World
A 623ft-long boat named Xin Hai Tong 23 became gridlocked in one of the busiest shipping lanes worldwide. The incident occurred at the southern part of the Suez Canal and left the waterway disrupted for hours.
The Second Incident in Two Years
This event happened only two years after the Ever Given blocked the same lane for six days, causing tremendous disruptions in global trade. In that incident, strong winds resulted in the container ship’s jamming, halting traffic in both directions.
Vessel Stranded Due to Engine Malfunction
The Leth Agencies, which is responsible for managing canal traffic, reported that the vessel became grounded at 4 am, halting at least two convoys of ships. The canal authorities acted promptly and sent tugboats to assist the stricken boat. The vessel was eventually refloated after several hours, and a normal flow of waterway traffic was restored.
The Cause of the Incident
The grounding of the Xin Hai Tong 23 was caused by an engine malfunction. The process of towing the vessel was briefly delayed by the failure of the ship’s winch. As a precaution, the canal authority confirmed that shipping activity would only resume once the towing process was completed successfully.
An Important Shipping Lane
Roughly 12% of the world’s trade passes through the Suez Canal, the shortest route for shipping between Asia and Europe. It is one of the busiest trade routes globally, and this is why any disruption can have a severe impact on global supply chains and markets.
Incidents like Xin Hai Tong 23’s grounding serve as a reminder of how vital it is taking extraordinary caution while using the Suez Canal. Despite the quick response of the canal authorities and the successful refloating of the vessel, global trade experienced a significant disruption for several hours.