(MENAFN - Jordan Times)
AMMAN — Several vessels loaded with containers of goods and livestock en route to Jordan are still not able to make it to the port of Aqaba due to a giant container ship, the Ever Given, blocking Egypt's Suez Canal for several days.
The shortest shipping route from Europe to Asia remained blocked on Wednesday as 10 tugboats struggled to free one of the world's largest container ships after it ran aground in the Suez Canal. The blockage continues to result in a "traffic jam" in the Red Sea to date, according to reports.
The representative of the Navigation Syndicate in Aqaba, George Dahdal, confirmed the delay in the arrival of seven ships to the port of Aqaba, after maritime navigation in the Suez Canal came to a standstill following the blocking of the canal by the 400m-long stranded container.
'The seven vessels contain livestock, approximately 92,000 sheep. Furthermore, there are also daily container lines being delayed as well,' Dahdal told The Jordan Times on Saturday. Maritime traffic will remain suspended until the bottleneck in the Suez Canal is cleared, he added.
Dahdal explained that as a result of the delay, the prices of red meat will increase, noting that the vessels were supposed to arrive at Aqaba's seaport on March, 22.
Tugboats and dredgers were deployed to dislodge the Ever Given, wedged diagonally across the waterway.
'Two Dutch tugboats will be sent on Sunday, March 28 from The Netherlands to assist in towing the stuck container tanker. We are waiting for the good news in the next few days,' Dahdal said.
According to Khalil Haj Tawfiq, chairman of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, livestock feeding is continued onboard and vessels are being supplied with the necessary fodder.
'The impact of this incident will be more significant in the event that the ships are delayed for a long time, but this is unlikely as it is expected that the crisis will be resolved in the next 48 hours,' Tawfiq told The Jordan Times.
'There are other routes to Jordan than the blocked one, so the effect of the incident should be minimal,' he added.
Tawfiq highlighted the importance of resolving the issue as soon as possible in order not to increase costs for merchants.
'We have an official meeting regarding the matter on Sunday with navigation agents and a number of specialists to discuss the incident and collect more information,' Tawfiq added.
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