BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The giant container ship – as long as the Empire State Building is tall – that was stuck in the Suez Canal for almost a week is back on the move.
But the blockage hit world economies hard, with billions of dollars lost in global trade. CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke with experts about the local economic impact.READ MORE: Far Rockaway Residents Fed Up With Graveyard Of Sunken Boats, Rusted Barges Filled With Garbage
Tugboats sounded their horns Monday morning signaling the critical Suez Canal waterway was clear. The Ever Given was finally free.
According to the Suez Canal Authority, navigation resumed Monday afternoon. The first ships that moved through the canal were carrying livestock, it said.
“About 12% of world trade flows through there, and 10% of the world’s oil. So it’s a really significant place,” said Luis Portes, an economics professor at Montclair State University.
It’s one of the busiest trade routes in the world, with ships carrying everything from crude oil, clothing, furniture, car parts and toilet paper.
“95% of consumer goods come from overseas and come on a ship such as the Ever Given,” said Bethann Rooney, deputy director of the Port Department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.READ MORE: Long Island Woman Sues Home Depot, Says She Was Denied Job Due To Having Medical Marijuana Card
Rooney said 38% of the Port Authority’s cargo moves through the Suez. She expects it to take about a week until the impact is noticed here. Hundreds of ships that were stuck in traffic must move through the canal.
“There will certainly be a delay in the commodities that are on that vessel reaching the store shelves. But it will be relatively insignificant as compared to the impact of COVID-19, where global manufacturing was shut down for several months,” said Rooney.
“We wouldn’t feel that much of an impact except for what was last week’s oil price hike,” said Portes.
Both said the impact to the consumer would be greater if the canal was blocked for a longer period of time.
“The rerouting of ships around the southern tip of Africa would have mattered because that’s an extra delay. It’s about 7-10 extra days,” said Portes. “I think it would be mostly remembered as a glitch.”MORE NEWS: Newborn Twins Found Dead In Queens
Experts told CBS2 the big takeaway is that public awareness was raised on the importance of the canal and global trade to our economy.