Port Of Antwerp Assumes That Maritime Blockade Will Have An Impact
The port of Antwerp assumes that the maritime blockade “will have an impact” and prepares its storage vessels.
Global maritime traffic is paralyzed. Thus, the port of Antwerp (Belgium), one of the most important in the European Union, is preparing to face the possible effects caused by the blockade of the Suez Canal, an incident that will impact world maritime traffic, already affected due to the coronavirus crisis or Brexit.
The spokesman for the port of Antwerp, Lennart Verstappen, told Efe that the stranding of the “Ever Given”, crossed in the Suez Canal in a way that does not allow the passage of any vessel, “will probably have an impact” on its landing. , although he pointed out that it is too early to judge how big it will be.
The Suez Canal: one of the ‘choke points’ in the world whose closure can ‘strangle’ security and the economy
Traffic on the Suez Canal, a crucial link in trade between Europe and Asia, was suspended last Tuesday after the aforementioned 400-meter-long container ship was immobilized, from shore to shore, blocking the passage of ships. ships in both directions .
Until the Ever Given has been completely withdrawn, according to the authorities, maritime traffic will not return to normal in the channel that connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and through which about 50 ships and 10% of the global maritime trade.
“Once the problem in the Suez Canal is solved, there will be a peak of ships in the ports of Europe,” says an expert.
“Every day that the ship is stuck, more ships will have to wait. Once resolved, there will be a peak of ships in all ports in Western Europe , ” added Verstappen, which will have an impact on transport and logistics from the ports to the interior of Belgium.
Although the ship “Ever Given” does not have to pass through Antwerp, this is a problem that, if prolonged, “could have a great impact on the global logistics chain” and the operators of the port terminals are already preparing for it. .
The spokesperson was optimistic about the large storage capacity of the wharf : “This has also helped us in times of crisis and has ensured that we have always been able to deliver to the consumer,” he celebrated.
For their part, the Suez Canal authorities indicated in a statement on Thursday that at least “four excavators are at the front” of the ship removing the sand in the place where the boat has run aground, while to try to refloat it, they they have used nine giant tugs, but without success so far.