What happened with the Suez Canal?

Audrey Donaldson, Reporter

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal is a focal point in the trading and shipping industry. According to the Washington Post, around 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal. Located in Egypt, this canal is 120 miles long and connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. On March 23rd, a two-hundred thousand ton ship containing crude oil, live animals, and other miscellaneous items got stuck in the Suez Canal and stopped all transportation through the canal for six days. 367 ships were trapped in the canal. 

Crews worked tirelessly around the clock to free the stuck ship in time to not affect our economy too much. Out of the blue, an unusually high tide came through the canal and aided in wedging the bow of the ship out of the canal bank. Fleets of tugboats and underwater crews worked by digging under the boat to help it slip back into its original placement. 

Many people around the world are wondering what this means for them. This blockage will supposedly have effects on the economy for months. According to CNBC.com,  The blockage cost 12% of global trade, and held up $9 billion of trade per day. Oil prices also shot up after the boat got stranded due to large amounts of oil being on the stuck ship. Ships could take an alternate route around the southern tip of Africa, but they risk pirates and adding an extra 15 days to their journey.

At BCHS the effect of this blockage will be large. Since gas prices are increasing due to the blockage, students will have a harder time paying for gas. Sophomore Aleta Shepherd said, “I pay for my own gas and over the past week I have seen gas prices go up significantly. I hope they do not rise more or else it will be very stressful getting gas.” Also if some students bought items online that were being shipped through the canal, their packages might arrive later. Clearly, the effects of the canal blocking are larger than trading between nations.