The Suez Canal: Perspectives After the Ever Given Accident

Source: Italian Institute for International Political Studies

Author(s): Angela Stefania Bergantino

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It is hard to imagine anything more central to the world’s choke points than the Suez Canal. Albeit relatively recent, built only in 1869, its enviable position – where the Asian, European, and African continents meet – has meant it has quickly climbed the ranks of the hottest bottlenecks. Around 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, accounting for 30% of all global container traffic, and over $1 trillion worth of cargoes annually. In 2020, some 19,000 ships used the route. The Suez Canal is an important route for energy, raw materials, consumer goods, and components from Asia and the Middle East to Europe. The canal’s location also makes it a key regional hub for shipping oil and other hydrocarbons. In recent years, between 7% and 10% of the world’s oil (about one million barrels of oil daily) and about 8% of liquefied natural gas passed through the Suez canal annually. In 2019, about 54 million tonnes of minerals and metals and 35 million tonnes of coal travelled along the canal.

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