One of the world’s largest container ships has blocked the Suez canal causing a massive traffic jam after breaking down while transiting the major shipping lane.
The MV Ever Given is classed as an ultra-large container ship and lost power before drifting across the entire width of the canal.
The vessel, which is 1,312 feet long and weighs almost 200,000 tonnes was part of a 20-ship convoy heading north through the canal when it lost power and drifted across the entire waterway.
The MV Ever Given, pictured, has blocked the entire width of the Suez Canal causing a massive traffic jam
The Ever Given was part of a 20-ship convoy heading north through the canal, from Suez Gulf into the Mediterranean
Several tugs are assisting the Ever Given, which has been stuck for more than 12 hours
Social media users soon noticed the delays caused by the Ever Green’s mechanical problems
The 15 vessels behind have to wait for the Ever Given to be cleared before they can continue their journey.
Worse still, vessels planning to travel from the north are also halted because of the incident.
Data from Marine Traffic shows several tugs attending to the stricken vessel, though they have failed to pull it clear.
The vessel is carrying cargo from Yantain, China to Rotterdam, Netherlands.
It is understood, efforts to refloat the vessel will take place at 7am after the first attempts failed.
Closing the 120-mile waterway for any length of time causes major issues for the distribution of cargo across the globe as the canal is used as a short cut linking Asia with Europe.
In February 2019 the Suez Canal Authority announced 75 massive cargo vessels transited the waterway carrying 5.8 million tonnes on a single day.
Officials on February 6, were able to guide 40 vessels from the Gulf into the Mediterranean while 35 ships went south.
On average, approximately 50 cargo vessels a day use the canal.
The Suez Canal is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, connecting Europe with the Far East