Photos: a record-breaking number of ships sailed through the Suez Canal in 2021, including the redemptive return of the 'Ever Given'

·5 min read
The Ever Given container ship repairs
Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images
  • More ships sailed through The Suez Canal this year than ever before.

  • The record number comes amid supply-chain chaos, the coronavirus pandemic, and the Ever Given's 6-day grounding.

  • See the massive ships that made it through, including the Ever Given's larger sibling, "Ever Ace."

A total of 20,694 ships traveled through The Suez Canal this year, the SCA's chairman announced on Sunday.

GettyImages 1183111853
Container ships sail in Suez Canal, during the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal.Gehad Hamdy/picture alliance via Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg

The record-breaking feat defies a year riddled with supply-chain chaos, the pandemic, and of course, the Ever Given's dramatic 6-day blocking of the canal.

Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Congestion — Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Tour 2021
Touring the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.Thomas Pallini/Insider

Among the tens of thousands of ships that made it through the Suez Canal this year was the recently repaired Ever Given and its even-larger sibling, Ever Ace.

The Ever Given container ship repairs
Yu Fangping / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

In a tale of redemption, the Ever Given successfully journeyed through the canal four months after it blocked the global waterway in March 2021.

ever given refloated monday 29 march suez canal
A view shows the container ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, after it was partially refloated, in Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021Suez Canal Authority via Reuters

Source: Insider

The successful voyage was fantastic news for the global shipping industry — the Ever Given saga cost the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour.

Ever Given, Suez Canal
Container ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal, Egypt on March 27, 2021.Kristin Carringer/Maxar

Source: Insider

In October, it was spotted in Qingdao, China, as its underwent repairs.

ever given
Yu Fangping / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Source: Insider

Photos revealed how six days stuck inside the canal destroyed the ship's famous red "bulbous bow."

The Ever Given container ship which blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March arrived in Qingdao on Monday for repair.
The Ever Given container ship which blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March arrived in Qingdao on Monday for repair.Li Ziheng/Xinhua via Getty Images

Source: Insider

More than 1 million cubic feet of sand and mud had to be removed from around the ship as workers worked round-the-clock to dislodge both the bow and stern.

Ever Given in the Suez Canal
Suez Canal Authority via AP

In November, photos showed the repaired bow with a fresh coat of paint at a shipyard in China's Shandong Province.

The Ever Given container ship repairs
Yu Fangping / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Soon, the Ever Given reappeared on shipping schedules and began transporting freight between Europe and Asia once again — just in time for holiday shipping surges.

containers loaded onto Ever Given
Containers loaded onto the recently repaired Ever Given ship.Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images

The "mega" container ship is larger than the Titanic and longer than the Empire State Building is high, but its new sibling is even bigger.

Container ships are getting larger every year — the Ever Given is longer than three football fields.
Container ships are getting larger every year — the Ever Given is longer than three football fields.Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images

Meet Ever Ace: the world's largest container ship. According to American Bureau of Shipping records, the two ships are the same length, but the Ever Ace is wider and deeper.

ever ace hamburg
The Ever Ace has room on board for 23,992 boxes and 200,000 tonnes of cargo.Georg Wendt/picture alliance via Getty Images

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The Ever Ace is an Evergreen A-class, which can hold up to 23,992 cargo units. This is up from the 20,124 cargo units that the Ever Given, which is an Evergreen G-class ship, can carry.

ever ace hamburg
The "Ever Ace", one of the largest container ships in the world, is guided by tugs on the Elbe into the Port of Hamburg to moor at the Burchardkai container terminal.Georg Wendt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Source: Insider

The Ever Ace made its maiden voyage this summer, sailing through The Suez Canal for the first time on August 28, 2021.

ever given ship freed suez canal
People gather as ship Ever Given is seen in Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021.REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Eleven other mega container ships are being built in the make of the Ever Ace, three of which could become operational this year.

A masked man in orange in front of the side of a container ship in China.
A dockworker directs container ship CSCL GLOBE.Yu Fangping/VCG/Getty Images

"Mega" container ships like these have more than doubled in size over the past decade to keep up with global trade demand.

Cargo ship crew
Associated Press

The vessels' larger-than-life size is contributing to the supply-chain crisis that's caused record-breaking backlogs at US ports, Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider.

Port of Long Beach
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Egypt's Suez Canal Authority announced plans to widen and deepen the waterway in May to help prevent future container ships from getting stuck.

Suez Canal blocked skitch
Stranded ships waiting in the queue to cross the Suez Canal on March 27, 202, as it's blocked by the Ever Given ship.MAHMOUD KHALED/AFP via Getty Images/Insider

The deepening project will likely be complete in July 2023, Bloomberg reported.

ever given suez canal refloated celebration
The Ever Given is accompanied by Suez Canal tugboats as it moves in the Suez Canal, Egypt, Monday, March 29, 2021.Suez Canal Authority via AP

Source: Bloomberg

SCA Chairman Osama Rabie said even more ships are expected to pass through the canal next year due to increased ship production, according to the outlet.

Seafarers with face masks on board a ship.
Seafarers on a ship waiting for their vaccinations.Sina Schuldt/DPA/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg

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