SINGAPORE, March 26 (NNN-Bernama) — Supplies, especially from Europe to the region, may be temporarily disrupted after a 400-metre-long container ship became wedged across the Suez Canal, said Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
“A prolonged blockage may see some drawdown on inventories becoming necessary. The fall back is for ships to sail around the African continent — the Cape of Good Hope — to come to Asia. It is a longer journey by one to two weeks,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
If the disruption is prolonged, Ong said PSA, the Singapore port operator, may see reschedule of disrupted services when shipping lines reroute their journeys.
“It will have to plan ahead and ensure that operations remain smooth,” he said.
Ong said the container ship, which was blown off course due to strong winds, is now blocking one of the busiest waterways in the world that provide passage for around 10 per cent of all global seaborne trade.
In contrast, the minister said the Straits of Malacca and Singapore provide passage for about one third of global seaborne trade.
“If you take a look at the world map, you will realise that the two are closely connected, in linking up Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” he said.
“This is another unfortunate incident that illustrates how the world is now so closely interwoven together,” he said.
Source: NAM News Network