Suez Canal opens

Suez Canal opens

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The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony attended by French Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III.

In 1854, Ferdinand de Lesseps, the former French consul to Cairo, secured an agreement with the Ottoman governor of Egypt to build a canal 100 miles across the Isthmus of Suez. An international team of engineers drew up a construction plan, and in 1856 the Suez Canal Company was formed and granted the right to operate the canal for 99 years after completion of the work.

Construction began in April 1859, and at first digging was done by hand with picks and shovels wielded by forced laborers. Later, European workers with dredgers and steam shovels arrived. Labor disputes and a cholera epidemic slowed construction, and the Suez Canal was not completed until 1869–four years behind schedule. On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to navigation. Ferdinand de Lesseps would later attempt, unsuccessfully, to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama.

When it opened, the Suez Canal was only 25 feet deep, 72 feet wide at the bottom, and 200 to 300 feet wide at the surface. Consequently, fewer than 500 ships navigated it in its first full year of operation. Major improvements began in 1876, however, and the canal soon grew into the one of the world’s most heavily traveled shipping lanes. In 1875, Great Britain became the largest shareholder in the Suez Canal Company when it bought up the stock of the new Ottoman governor of Egypt. Seven years later, in 1882, Britain invaded Egypt, beginning a long occupation of the country. The Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936 made Egypt virtually independent, but Britain reserved rights for the protection of the canal.

After World War II, Egypt pressed for evacuation of British troops from the Suez Canal Zone, and in July 1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal, hoping to charge tolls that would pay for construction of a massive dam on the Nile River. In response, Israel invaded in late October, and British and French troops landed in early November, occupying the canal zone. Under pressure from the United Nations, Britain and France withdrew in December, and Israeli forces departed in March 1957. That month, Egypt took control of the canal and reopened it to commercial shipping.

READ MORE: What Was the Suez Crisis?

Ten years later, Egypt shut down the canal again following the Six Day War and Israel’s occupation of the Sinai Peninsula. For the next eight years, the Suez Canal, which separates the Sinai from the rest of Egypt, existed as the front line between the Egyptian and Israeli armies. In 1975, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat reopened the Suez Canal as a gesture of peace after talks with Israel. Today, dozens of ships navigate the canal daily, carrying more than 300 million tons of goods a year.

The History Of The Suez Canal

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Zachary Karabell, author of Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal, about the dream to build a waterway that would unite the East and the West.

The Suez Canal is unclogged. Tugboats and dredgers freed the massive container ship called the Ever Given today, which means this shortcut connecting Europe and Asia is back in business. We're going to talk now about how this 120-mile man-made ditch became such an essential part of global trade. Zachary Karabell wrote the book "Parting The Desert: The Creation Of The Suez Canal," and he joins us from Wyoming.


SHAPIRO: The canal opened in 1869. How long had people been talking about doing something like this?

KARABELL: People had been talking about it for thousands of years. And there is some evidence of a canal in ancient Egypt, although it didn't go that full 120 miles between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. But the idea of, like, building a canal there, especially when the British began to expand into India and Asia and the French into Africa and Asia - that's when the idea of - wow, wouldn't it be a great idea if we didn't have to sail 7 or 8,000 miles around the Cape of Good Hope in order to get into the Indian Ocean when we could just go to the eastern Mediterranean and south? That would be great.

SHAPIRO: If people had been talking about it for thousands of years, why didn't it happen sooner? What was the big hurdle?

KARABELL: Well, part of it's political. Part of it's technological. Part of it's economic. All those things together combined with the fact that, really, the golden age of human beings and particularly in the West, thinking, OK, we can manipulate the physical world to the advantage of mankind - that's a mid-19th century European idea. And that's where the idea of the canal turns into the reality of the canal.

SHAPIRO: Once it opened, was the impact on global trade immediate? Was it like flipping a switch?

KARABELL: It was pretty rapid. And even though this was the dawn of the steamship age so that the route around the Cape of Good Hope wasn't four months longer, which it would have been when it was sailed, but it was still many, many weeks longer. And so the minute the canal opens, traffic appears.

SHAPIRO: What were the consequences of this for people in the region as these great Western powers were kind of, you know, deciding the fate of the world?

KARABELL: The Egyptian ruler at the time was all in on building the canal and firmly believed that the opening of the Suez Canal would restore the Egyptian state to a place of glory and leadership amongst the nations of the world. And instead, within a decade, it reduces the Egyptian state to vassalage to European powers for decades.

SHAPIRO: Seeing how little it took for the Ever Given to run aground, I was kind of surprised that we don't hear about these kinds of accidents or bottlenecks more often. Have there been other major crises in the canal's history?

KARABELL: There have been a lot of crises in the Suez Canal history. The canal is, like, the epicenter of great power conflict between the British and the French, each of the world wars. You know, the British fight with the Germans to try to prevent some foreign power hostile to the British Empire getting control of it. And then during the repeated Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, it's, like, the place to be, or maybe not.

KARABELL: And what's happened in the past 20 years is the rise of China has led to this explosion of shipping. And with each passing year, the ships get bigger and bigger and bigger. And it's easier to build bigger ships, but it's a lot harder to widen canals. So what you basically have is a mismatch between the volume of trade, the size of the ships and the capacity of the canal.

SHAPIRO: Sounds like you're saying this might not be the last time we see a ship like that running aground in the Suez Canal.

KARABELL: Right, although I imagine for the next few years, shippers and shipping companies will be mindful of the risks of building a ship too big, given that the cost of this is immense. I mean, I'm sure there's insurance up the wazoo for these kinds of things. But then the insurance companies themselves will go, hey we're not going to insure your 4,800-foot long ship if your 13-foot-hundred-long ship just threw a massive monkey wrench into global trade.

SHAPIRO: Zachary Karabell is author of the book "Parting The Desert: The Creation Of The Suez Canal."

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Suez Canal opens - HISTORY

The Suez Canal, which opened on 17 November 1869 after a decade-long construction, is an artificial waterway that cuts across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt to connect the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. [1] The canal greatly reduced the time needed for vessels to sail from Europe to Asia, as they did not have to make the long journey around the African Cape. [2] The shorter travelling time, along with other factors such as the greater usage of steamers rather than sailing ships, led to an increase in trade between Europe and Asia. [3] This development could be seen in Singapore’s trade figures: total trade volume reached $71 million in 1870, a year after the canal was opened, up from only $39 million the year before. The trade boom would continue throughout the 1870s, and by 1879, the colony’s total trade volume was valued at $105 million. [4]

To facilitate the sudden increase in commerce, especially via steam shipping, Singapore began to shift its port activities from Boat Quay to New Harbour (renamed Keppel Harbour in 1900) located at Tanjong Pagar. [5] The number of vessels visiting the wharves at New Harbour rose from 99 steamers and 65 sailing ships in 1869 to 185 steamers and 63 sailing vessels three years later. By 1879, the numbers had increased to 541 steamers and 91 sailing ships. [6] Other than the congestion at Boat Quay, a key reason for the relocation of port activities to New Harbour was the better facilities there as well as the deep-water berths, which were more suitable for steamers. [7] The wharves at New Harbour also enabled bunkering and facilitated cargo-handling, regardless of the tidal phase. [8]

The growth of New Harbour following the opening of Suez Canal led to the eventual development of the Tanjong Pagar area. New roads such as Anson Road and Keppel Road, as well as a tram line, were constructed to improve the movement of goods and people between the harbour and the city. [9] Furthermore, part of the commercial centre began to move towards the harbour, resulting in an expansion of the town area in the direction of Tanjong Pagar as well as the reclamation of Telok Ayer Bay in 1887. [10]

1. Hoskins, H. L. (1943, July). The Suez Canal as an international waterway. The American Journal of International Law, 37(3), 373–374. Retrieved from JSTOR Dobbs, S. (2003). The Singapore River: A social history, 1819–2002 (p. 10). Singapore: Singapore University Press. Call no.: RSING 959.57 DOB-[HIS].
2. Dobbs, 2003, p. 10.
3. Dobbs, 2003, p. 10.
4. Bogaars, G. (1955, March). The effect of the opening of the Suez Canal on the trade and development of Singapore. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 28(1), 99–101. Retrieved from JSTOR.
5. Dobbs, 2003, pp. 10–11.
6. Bogaars, Mar 1955, p. 128.
7. Dobbs, 2003, pp. 10–11.
8. Dobbs, 2003, p. 10.
9. Bogaars, Mar 1955, pp. 133–134.
10. Bogaars, Mar 1955, pp. 135–136.

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Pasha 104: The fascinating history of the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal was in the spotlight recently when the container vessel Ever Given became wedged diagonally across it, causing a massive backlog in shipping traffic. The idea of a canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean was a dream for many throughout history. The Egyptian Pharoahs, Persians, Romans and Ottomans all saw its potential benefits.

The canal offers the shortest sea route between Europe and Asia, making it useful for trade. Eventually a French diplomat, Ferdinand de Lesseps, was given permission by Egypt’s ruler to start working on the project in 1854. Construction started in the north and proceeded southwards, creating a hive of economic activity.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Lucia Carminati, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, takes us through the fascinating history of the Suez Canal, including the workers who executed the project and the physical challenges of developing and maintaining it.

“Suez Canal Waterway Connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea Map, 3D illustration” by shubhamtiwari found on Shutterstock

Music: “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“AmbGuitar_EgyptTexture01.wav” by jdagenet, found on Freesound licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License.

The Opening of the Suez Canal

In 1869 the Egyptian- French financed Suez Canal was opened. Little interest in the project had been taken by the British but when opened it was realised that it shortened by some considerable distance the journey to India. The distance around the Cape to Bombay was 10,450 miles but just 6,000 miles through the canal. The opening of the canal increased the need for Britain to remain the dominant power in the Middle East as it was now India's lifeline. The Middle East became henceforth a major focal point of British interest.

Britain’s dominance of Middle Eastern politics

When authority collapsed in Egypt in 1881 as a result of a military coup, Gladstone who had been very critical of imperial policies decided to occupy Egypt. From this time until the Suez crisis in 1956 Britain dominated Middle Eastern politics and when the Ottoman Empire was dismantled after WW1 Britain acquired the lion's share of its territories in the Palestine region. As oil became more and more important to the British economy so the hold on the Middle East was intensified.

With Britain's involvement in Egypt came a responsibility for Sudan, a virtual Egyptian colony, and when Britain decided to evacuate its forces from Sudan General Gordon was selected to undertake the task. His mission and death in Sudan was to capture the public imagination and was become part of the myth of British imperialism.

Route past the cape still important

The route to the Cape though was still considered important and when Lord Fisher became First Sea Lord in 1904 he declared that five ports controlled the whole world: Dover, Gibraltar, Alexandria, Cape Town and Singapore. The Suez Canal may have been opened in1869 but the Cape route remained important enough for Britain to go to war to protect her interest in the Cape in 1899.

Disraeli acquires a controlling interest in the cCanal

In 1875, Disraeli was able to buy a controlling interest in the company on behalf of the British government for £4 million by buying the 40% allocation of the ruler of Egypt who had gone bankrupt. The canal now became part of Britain's strategic interest.

The beginning of jingoism

The importance of the canal to Britain was made clear in 1877 when a Russian army invaded the Balkans following the brutal repression of a rebellion in Bulgaria by the Turkish authorities. A British fleet, including the most modern ship in the world, HMS Devastation, anchored in the Dardanelles and Indian troops were sent to Malta in preparation for a war between Russia and Britain. With war fever raging in the music halls, the song of the moment was:

We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do,

We've got the ships we've got the men we've got the money too!

An army revolt in Egypt brings interest from Britain

The stability of Egypt was crucial to British strategic interests in the Middle East, and the ambition of Khedive Muhammad Ali seemed to be taking Egypt towards becoming a modern state. There had been investment in railways, cotton plantations, and irrigation as well as schools but by 1882 total debt totalled £100 million. Despite attempts by an international commission to keep the country solvent, internal dissension with international interference led to unrest and a revolt by army officers in February 1881 led by Urabi Pasha. In September 1881 he carried out a coup d'etat and made himself Minister of War with full control of the army.

The British were concerned at the possibility of an anti- British government. They sent an armed ship to Alexandria but this had no impact. A riot in Alexandria in June 1882 was interpreted as the first step towards anarchy and Parliament demanded action. The French parliament decided against action but Gladstone's government decided that they had to take action. The port of Alexandria was bombed and Gladstone declared that he would send an expeditionary force to restore order.

During August two armies, one of 24,000 troops from India and one of 7,000 from Britain and led by Wolseley converged on Egypt. Warships occupied the canal and the military force landed on 18 August at Ismailia. Four weeks later Urabi's camp at Tel- el- Kebir was stormed and overrun enabling Wolseley to march on Cairo. Urabi was captured and banished to Ceylon.

Britain takes control of Egypt

Wolseley, embarrassed by his involvement, declared that Britain would oversee the regeneration of Egypt - to be done by a group of civil servants under the direction of Baring, the army being overseen by British officers. Egypt became a virtual protectorate but with power in the hands of British senior civil servants who saw it as their task to return Egypt to solvency. A British army of 5,000 men was kept in Egypt and Alexandria became the main Mediterranean base for the Royal Navy. The British eventually recognised Egyptian independence in 1922. Egypt was never a colony in the sense that there was a British administration running the territory with a Governor and some form of representative government. The control over Egypt had been indirect and this indirect rule was strengthened although it fell short of full colony status. This marked a change in direction in British policy as territories that had previously been dominated by British influence had a more formal kind of rule substituted in order to prevent other European powers from exerting thei r own form of control in an age of European imperial aggrandisement.

Taking responsibility for Egypt meant that Britain took over responsibility for the Egyptian colony of Sudan where Egyptian control was fragile. The Sudan was considered by Britain to be of strategic importance as it controlled the waters of the Nile - essential to the Egyptian economy - and also had a coastline that bordered the seaward route to India and the Pacific.

In 1881 a revolt had broken out in the Sudan led by Muhammad Ahmad, a 30 year old holy man who referred to himself as the Mahdi. His message of spiritual rebirth appealed to the Sudanese people and so a British led Egyptian force was sent to the Sudan to deal with the revolt. The force though was defeated in November 1883 at Shaykan. One of the Mahdi's allies then opened up another front at the Red Sea port of Suakin. Gladstone's government decided to evacuate all Egyptian forces and sent general Gordan to oversee the withdrawal.

Gordon was a popular hero whose bravery and evangelical fervour appealed to the British public. Gordon saw himself as an agent of Providence answerable only to God. He had a particular talent for commanding non- European troops as when he crushed the Taiping rebellion in the 1860s and when in the 1870s he defeated Sudanese slave traders in the Sudan. On arrival in Khartoum he was given an enthusiastic reception but he decided to ignore his instructions. He called on the public to repel the forces of the Mahdi rather than withdraw from the Sudan. The Mahdi's forces besieged Khartoum and with Gordon's position becoming ever more precarious, Gladstone eventually decided to send a force to relieve the siege of Khartoum.

Wolseley's advance was cautious but an advance column crossing the desert was brought to battle at Abu Klea where in a short battle lasting twenty minutes they suffered heavy losses with the red square pierced but the Mahdist forces were driven off.

The relative success of the Mahdist forces in the desert encouraged the Mahdi to storm Khartoum which was taken on 28 January with Gordon killed in the fighting. The more romantic story of Gordon dying on steps was the result of unreliable sources but because it was regarded as a fitting end for a Christian soldier it was the version that became part of history.

The Fashoda Incident brought Britain and France to the brink of war

The Mahdi died a few months later and the Sudan was to pose little threat to Egypt in the following years. The Sudan and the headwaters of the Nile were to be an area competed for by Britain and France as Britain was concerned that Egypt's agriculture might be affected by any power controlling this area. Britain claimed the area by virtue of its position in Egypt but this was challenged by France in 1898 when the French sent a force under the command of Captain Marchand to Fashoda on the shores of the Upper Nile.

Captain Marchand had crossed the African continent from Brazzaville to Fashoda in a journey lasting 18 months. He then claimed Fashoda on behalf of France at a time when General Kitchener was in Sudan to quell an uprising. Kitchener claimed that the whole of the Sudan, including Fashoda, lay under Britain administration. There was a stand off until Salisbury put the Royal Navy on alert and the French accepted Salisbury's demands and withdrew Marchand. France renounced all claims to the Nile valley and the area remained under British control the more so following Kitchener's defeat of Sudanese forces.

The British government had previously sanctioned the retaking of the Sudan by a force commanded by Kitchener. Kitchener advanced slowly down the Nile using a railway that was constructed as they went. As the force got closer to the Khalifah's army of 60,000, British troops were sent out.

The decisive battle was fought on 2 September 1898 on a plain near Omdurman. The Khalifah's army made a series of frontal attacks which were beaten off with long range rifle fire, machine guns and artillery which together killed 11,000 men and wounded a further 16,000. It was a massacre which showed the difference between European armies and native forces. Many of the Khalifah's leaders were summarily shot leading to MPs in the House of Commons demanding that Kitchener be denied his payment of £30,000 - his reward for Omdurman.

Britain the dominant power in the Middle East

With the defeat of the Khalifah's army and the settlement with the French following the Fashoda incident Britain remained the dominant European in the region and made all the more powerful after WW1 when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. The seaward route to India and the Far East through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal was now well protected by a string of British territories (Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Egypt and Sudan) and would remain so until threatened in WW2 by the airpower of the Axis forces.

The route to India was 5,000 miles shorter via the Suez canal

At Tel- el- Kebir British forces under the command of General Wolseley defeated the army of Urabi Pasha.

A British view of the Fashoda Incident

The Battle of Omdurman where 11,000 Sudanese were killed in a massacre which demonstrated the difference between European and native forces.

British influence in the Middle East grew as a result of the strategic importance of the Suez Canal.

Suez Canal has a History of Blockages. Its Traffic Jam of 1967 Lasted for 8 Long Years

One of the most vital passageways in the world for international trade, the Suez Canal has been all over social media and news channels lately. A giant ship called Ever Given has been wedged in the canal, blocking all traffic ahead and behind, since Tuesday. The bow of the ship is on the canal’s eastern bank while its stern is lodged in the western bank. The incident has opened up the floodgates of memes on social media. The authorities claim it can take days or even weeks to clear. However, this isn’t the longest or the worst jam on the canal.

The longest traffic jam on the Suez Canal lasted for eight long years.

Yes, you read that right. One gets frustrated in an eight-minute jam on the road. Imagine being locked on the seas for such a long time when you have no escape. The cause of this jam was a “war” between two neighbouring nations.

The Suez Canal is a narrow channel of water that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea. Passing through Egypt and separating the landmasses of Africa and Asia. Before its opening in 1869, ships had to navigate go across South to Africa then north towards Europe. Then happened the longest traffic jam in history. Between 1967–1975, the canal was packed worse than Bangalore or Noida road at peak office hours.

Traffic Jam Caused by Ship Blocking Suez Canal Could Cost $9.6 Billion Per Day

Suez Canal 'Experts' Offer Hilarious Solutions to Clear Traffic Jam Caused by Gigantic Cargo Ship

Egypt and Israel, the two ends of the canal, did not have cordial history. In 1967, the passive enmity grew into a fully-declared war. On June 5, 1967, unbeknownst to the war brewing, 15 ships entered the canal on a 12-hour journey to cross through. The chunk of the canal got littered by the debris of the war— sunken ships, mines and so on—some intentionally put by Egypt to blockade the Israeli economy, some just collateral damage.

Then, the Egyptian government ordered a lockdown of the canal, marooning the fifteen ships from various countries to be halted where they were. Israel won the 6-day war but the new border was the Suez Canal itself. The other cargo ships took the longer route across Africa, making world trade and economy suffer tremendously by the longer commute.

Then, a second war broke out in 1973. Both sides incurred huge losses (human casualties and economic) and finally admitted to a ceasefire. The troops blocking entry and exit of the canal receded. The debris filled in the canal as blockage took two years to clear. Then, on June 5, 1975, exactly on the day of the initial fateful journey, the Suez Canal was reopened.

The first time was in 1956 after a British-French-Israeli invasion.

On July 26, 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, a decision that mounted backlash from Britain and France. At this time, there was tension between the three countries, according to a history page published on the State Department website.

Egypt wanted to nationalize the canal in an effort to go against European colonial domination. President Nasser said he was angered by "the imperialists who have mortgaged our future." Britain and France, on the other hand, were suspicious of Egypt's growing political influence.

In an attempt at a solution, the United States proposed the creation of an international consortium that would leave operating powers in the hands of 18 maritime nations, the history page says. All parties declined to support this idea.

Britain and France collaborated with Israel in secret military consultations to take control of the canal from Egypt by force. Israeli forces then attacked an Egyptian peninsula and advanced 16 kilomtres toward the Suez Canal, and British and French troops eventually arrived at the scene as well.

That tension along the waterway - dubbed the Suez Crisis - led to the canal's closure for months.

Related stories

As things stand no ship is going this way or that through the canal. Ships carrying every material good and commodity are piling up on both sides of the waterway. It is almost certain the traffic will grow in the coming days.

A history of the Suez Canal

The revered archaeologist and Egyptologist James Henry Breasted in the popularly acclaimed Ancient Records of Egypt (1906) notes that there have been many attempts at constructing canals near the Isthmus of Suez, at least 2000 years Before Common Era. What has been called the Canal of the Pharaohs joined the Nile to the Red Sea. It is thought to have begun in about 1897 BCE through the initiative of Senusret III of the Twelfth Dynasty.

The Canal of the Pharaohs is now referred to as the Ancient Suez Canal, the precursor to what we know today. All of the Mediterranean peoples from the Greeks to the Romans and from the Phoenicians to the Assyrians knew about the Egyptian canal. The philosopher Aristotle even referred to the canal in his treatise, Meteorology.

Egypt underwent various leaderships and so did the character and plans for the canal. For millennia, the waterway was enlarged using the technology of the day to allow for ship passages, for purposes of war and trade. What is called the Ancient Suez Canal was closed by the beginning of the 8th century to disallow Arabians who wanted to wage war on Egypt via the channel. Ancient Egypt was at the time under the Abbasid Caliphate.

There is a claim that Al-Hakim Allah, a Fatimid caliph, tried to reopen this waterway in about the year 1000. This is not thoroughly substantiated but we do know that in the 1600s, the Ottoman Empire tried to do this as well. The intention was to open a shortcut between Constantinople, the seat of the empire, and the pilgrimage sites as well as the Indian Ocean.

However, it was not until Napoleon Bonaparte, then leader of the French campaign in Egypt and Syria at the beginning of the 18th century, that an expansive and detailed plan was put together by archaeologists, geologists and engineers, This plan was going to help France dodge the hostilities up north on their way to Asia if the waterway can be freed.

The project was abandoned because it was thought too expensive, apart from the fact that the team of experts had miscalculated the degree of the work need. Nonetheless, Napoleon’s vision was what informed the beginning of the construction of the modern Suez Canal as we know it, in 1859. It was completed in 1869 under French supervision and control.

In truth, the canal was built with a majority of French capital at stake although the Ottoman Pasha dynasty represented Egyptian interests. In 1875, Isma’il Pasha sold Egypt’s stake to the United Kingdom. The revolutionary Egyptian leader, Abdel Gamel Nasser, annexed ownership of the canal for Egypt in 1956 after he had overthrown the monarchy in 1952.

This nationalization of the canal was what prompted the infamous Suez Crisis. Egypt was then forced to make compensation to the French and British interests, which they did by the middle of the 1960s.

The Suez Canal and You

Over 10% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal. It is unimaginable that you have not been impacted by the general goods and commodities that sail through the canal. American and Russian oil, Chinese technology, Japanese cars, East African raw materials and Indian foods all pass through the Suez canal.

Pliable trade routes make globalization possible and wider. One change in one corner of the world has the potential of affecting us all. According to maritime journal Lloyd, every day, $9 billion worth of essentials sails through the canal on more than 50 ships. Global oil prices have jacked up by 6% since the Ever Given blocked the waterway.

Watch the video: Διώρυγα του Παναμά