Suez Canal blockage 'could cause months of disruption' at European ports

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By Jack Parrock
Suez Canal blockage 'could cause months of disruption' at European ports
Copyright  Euronews/Jack Parrock

The six-day blockage in the Suez Canal could cause disruptions for months, according to Europe's second busiest port.

Lennart Verstappen, the Port of Antwerp Authority spokesman, has warned that the effects of the Ever Given fiasco could last for weeks, if not months, and they won't know the extent until the delayed vessels get here.

"It will have an impact on the entire logistical chain. It's not just ships entering the port, but it's also ships leaving the port," Verstappen told Euronews.

"Antwerp is not just an import port, but very much as well an export port. So goods also need to leave, there need to be containers for these goods to be shipped."

Some companies are putting a limit of seven days for containers to enter the port's export area, meaning terminal space is dedicated to unloading ships that arrive first.

Some container ships arriving at the port of Antwerp are unloading onto the dockside, due to a limited amount of space.

In terms of compensation shipping companies won't be receiving a payout since the delay hasn't caused any physical damage to the containers.

And according to Wouter Colomier from AON Insurance, there is no way to resolve this issue.

"I'm afraid the cargo which is those vessels waiting outside of the canal, I'm afraid there is no solution for that. There is cargo insurance obviously, but delays are a standard exclusion of insurance, cargo insurance," Colomier told Euronews.

The full extent of the economic ramifications of the blockage in the Suez Canal won't be known until the giant container ships arrive in Europe.