Ship could block Suez Canal for weeks

The company hired to help dislodge the cargo ship wedged in the Suez Canal says it could be stuck there for weeks.

Video Transcript

- A team of tugboats was put to work on the stricken container ship today. But despite the considerable power of their combined engines, the Ever Given didn't budge. Wedged across the Suez Canal, the scale of the problem dwarfing the machines that had been seen as a solution.

It ran aground two days ago but the company trying to free the ship warned it could remain here for weeks, creating a nightmare scenario for global trade. The traffic jam it's created is already more than 150 ships long. Among their cargo, oil, gas, and grains. One of the world's busiest shipping lanes at a standstill, this is the Maritime equivalent of a blocked coronary artery.

JOANNA KONINGS: A hiccup like this sort of sets everyone back. Everyone was already scrambling to get back to normal and save what has been quite strong demand for traded goods. Yeah, no one needs another delay on top of everything else. And it does underline just how important and how finely balanced the whole system is.

IVOR BENNETT: The British government said the incident could cause delays for UK-bound deliveries, while the Japanese owner of the quarter mile long ship apologized for the disruption. It was supposedly caused by the vessel being blown off course by a sudden strong wind and a dust storm. But experts say that's nothing new.

RANJITH RAJA: These vessels are built for that and these vessels are capable of handling that. So while that could have been one of the major factors that contributed for it, it also depends on the skill level of the [INAUDIBLE] who was on the wheel.

IVOR BENNETT: Even at high tide the efforts to refloat the Ever Given were futile. Salvage experts and canal officials are now considering removing containers to make it easier to shift. But with up to 20,000 on board, this is no quick fix. Ivor Bennett, Sky News.