The traffic congestion caused by a cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week continued to ease on Friday, with the number of ships waiting to transit 206 from over 300 three days ago, the canal services firm Leth Agencies said.
On Monday, salvage teams stopped the skyscraper-sized container ship, ending a crisis that clogged one of the world's most important waterways and freed billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce.
At the time, Canal officials said that more than 420 ships were waiting for the Ever Given-flagged, Japanese ship to be freed so they could make the crossing. Leth Agencies said a total of 357 boats have crossed the canal since the ship was assisted by a flotilla of tugboats that had been recovered by the tides.
The Ever Given had crashed into a bank of a single-lane stretch of the canal about 6 kilometers north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez.
That forced some ships to take the south route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa's long, alternate tip- a 5,000 km detour that cost ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.
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Others waited in place for the blockage to be over; the unprecedented shutdown, which raised fears of extended delays, increasing costs and rising costs for consumers, added to the strain on the shipping industry, already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.