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Maritime traffic jam grows outside blocked Suez Canal, IKEA says delay could constrain supply chain

Egypt Suez Canal
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 26, 2021

SUEZ, Egypt — A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels outside the Suez Canal and others began changing course as dredgers worked frantically to free a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the waterway and disrupted global shipping.

One expert says freeing the Ever Given could take up to a week in the best-case scenario.

Global retailer IKEA told CNN they have products on ships currently blocked at the canal and it could "create constraints on our supply chain" if there is a long delay.

The Suez Canal Authority said it welcomed international assistance, and the White House said it has offered to help Egypt reopen the canal. The US Navy is expected to send an assessment team to help.

The Ever Given got wedged Tuesday in a single-lane stretch of the canal north of the southern entrance near the city of Suez.