Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced that navigation through the canal was "temporarily suspended" until the hulking Panamanian-flagged container vessel MV Ever Given can be re-floated.
ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: In tonight's Money Watch, a massive cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal is leading to rising oil prices. The Evergreen is wedged in the canal, shutting down one of the world's most active trade routes. The vessel is as long as the Empire State Building is tall. CBS4's Elise Preston has more.
ELISE PRESTON: It's an image shocking the world. A 224 ton container ship, nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall, lodged sideways in the Suez Canal. It's forcing a major traffic jam in one of the world's most critical waterways.
The Suez Canal's strategic location is a major trade route between Africa, Asia, and Europe. More than $3 billion worth of cargo pass through this Egyptian channel every day. But today, ships carrying everything from medical equipment, oil, and food can't get through. The pandemic is already to blame for weakening trade.
GUY PLATTEN: We're already seeing evidence that ships are starting to gather at the entrances to the canal, both ends. And so, that process, that logjam, is starting to grow as every hour that passes.
ELISE PRESTON: The chaos started Tuesday, when the 1,300 foot Panama flagship, the Ever given, ran aground.
GUY PLATTEN: We don't know yet exactly what happened. There's reports of some failures of equipment but that's denied by the company itself. There's other reports of a strong gust of wind.
ELISE PRESTON: Now crews on smaller tugboats are trying to free the vessel.
- She's longer than the canal is wide so she's jammed in there pretty good. And so it's going to be very difficult to pull her off.
ELISE PRESTON: The canal service provider says at least 150 ships are waiting for the Ever Given to be cleared. Elise Preston. CBS News.
ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: There are reports, getting the ship unstuck could take weeks if all its cargo needs to be unloaded. This is actually the second major crash in recent years for the Ever Given, even those it says Evergreen on the side. The name is Ever Given. One of the largest container ships in the world. In 2019, the ship ran into a small ferry in Germany.