Monday - 24 June 2024 - 7:03 AM

An unique global traffic jam

Our notoriety for no adherence and flagrant violation of traffic rules is an unhidden secret. This, not so dignified notion, satirically transpired  print and social media world over  to  identify Indians, to  alleged  global traffic jam in Suez canal a few months back. A 400 meters long cargo ship ‘Ever given’, the biggest ever, with all Indian (25 in number) crew members on board with full capacity load of almost  20000 containers got stuck in iconic Suez canal.

The world has been witnessing geopolitical changes quite often in ancient and mediaeval period as boundaries of the nations were not vividly defined and the mighty ones drew their boundaries arbitrarily. But with the changed political scenarios after ww2 and the advent of global regulators like UNO, the incidence of forcible geopolitical changes became literally nonexistent. Contrarily geophysical changes were quite rare since time immemorial. But innovative and inquisitive humans, upholding the spirit of ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and ‘incessant quest for convenience’, conceived and created two iconic canals i.e Suez and panama, which unimaginably reduced the maritime distance between the two ocean, therefore, enormously saving of sailing time and expenses. Suez connects red sea to Mediterranean and panama canal with that of  Atlantic to pacific. These two monumental Engineering feats of 19th & 20th century has unquestionably brought the world much closer.

Suez Canal has almost shortened the maritime distance between India and England by 8500 k.m and is most proffered sea route for trade between Asia and Europe and even for America. It caters almost 12% of the world trade with 52 cargo ships sailing through the Suez canal per day, thus making it most strategic and the busiest waterways of the world. Suez Canal’s smooth passage is crucial to   maintain the constant supply chain of crude oil, FMCG, finished goods and raw materials of variety of products to Europe and America.

The weeklong blockade by the stuck ship ‘Ever given’ colossally disrupted the supply chain world over. It also caused huge financial loss to Egypt, who owns and maintains it. It is said to be that almost 300 cargo ships were in waiting during this period to sail through Suez. Truly stated, this global traffic jam caused financial and logistic catastrophe and a state of emergency like situation had emerged.

It’s unique to observe the impact of the event worldwide and subsequent interdependence of different countries. The entire event of ‘traffic jam’ is so queer and astonishingly interwoven. It is too amazing and may tickle you too at times. Some amusing facts about one of the largest cargo ship ‘ever given’ is:-

Owned by Japan ,  Operated by a shipping company Evergreen of Taiwan, Managed by Germany, Registered in panama, Sailed & navigated by ALL INDIAN Crew, Loaded in china and the last voyage started from Malaysia, Sailing through Suez Canal of Egypt, Destined for Rotterdam in Netherlands,  20000 containers destined for different ports and cities of Europe.

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It’s hilarious too. ‘Ever given’ has aboard all Indian (25) crew and as the saying goes ‘traffic jam’ is inherent to all Indian.  The most volatile, dynamic and un ignorable social media is abuzz with tweets and satirical comments making fun of all Indian crew aboard ‘ever given’ as Indian are notorious for violating and not following the traffic rules, and so the imminent traffic jam . Tweets and comments in social media is in purely lighter vein and to be taken in good humor. We all must be aware of the facts that the ships sailing through Suez is piloted and manned by an expert of Suez Canal authority to negotiate the treacherous route. So the crew in no way could be blamed.

Yeah ! the positive aspect of stuck up ship ‘ever given” in Suez as far as India is concerned can’t  go unheeded. The world has come to know the rising marine power of India in terms of most skilled and intensively trained manpower. The global shipping Industry is dominated by the Indian Mariners. They are in huge demand. Indians as on date supposed to be most skillfully trained shippers/mariners worldwide.

The traffic jam in Suez got cleared with a great deal of hardship and maneuvers. Hundreds of stranded ships resumed their journey/voyage to their respective destination. But the ‘traffic jam’ has emboldened we Indians to know that we make the best shippers/mariners. The cargo ship ever given with the entire Indian crew on board is yet anchoring in Suez canal to undergo an enquiry  to be conducted by Egyptian authorities  and also to comply with certain legal formalities. Let’s wish them our best and pray for their quick homecoming.

Notwithstanding, entire Indian crew of cargo ship ever given has been showered with immense praises and accolades worldwide as they exhibited exemplary patience and professionalism. So, cheer them up….. up……up…….        .

(Author is an independent writer)

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