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Wednesday, 31 March 2021

The Neverending Story

There will be no Ever Given Mk II, El Sisi promises: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi pledged to purchase new equipment and boats for the Suez Canal to ensure that ships will never again block the vital shipping artery. Cabinet officials will be instructed to ascertain the Suez Canal Authority’s needs and sign new contracts “no matter the circumstances or cost,” he said during a visit to the authority’s headquarters in Ismailia, a day after the mega container ship was finally freed from the banks of the canal (watch, runtime: 1:38).

The latest from the waterway: Some 255 of the 422 ships left stranded in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean should have transited the Canal as of this morning, by Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan’s math (watch, runtime: 2:28). The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has said it expects the backlog of vessels to be cleared within three or four days, as it brings the number of ships passing through on a daily basis to 95, up from the usual 50-60, but some service providers think it could take longer. The SCA is looking to get the canal’s regular daily capacity to 95 vessels by 2030, authority boss Osama Rabie told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 4:12)

Industry experts think the ripple effects will continue to be felt until the summer, including vessels and containers being “out of sync” as the flow of shipping traffic through the canal got thrown out of whack by the Ever Given, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Do we need to worry about a cyber attack next? The canal’s IT and communications systems could be vulnerable to hacks and cyber attacks, former senior director for Middle East and North African affairs at the US National Security Council Robert Greenway writes in a Bloomberg Opinion piece. Greenway points to recent cyber attacks on industrial control systems, saying that the canal is vulnerable to similar hostility because of its “antiquated” IT architecture.

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