Container ship Ever Given blocks the Suez Canal in March 2021

Have I Got (no) News For You. UltramapGlobal, Ever Given – and the Suez Canal.

In March 2021, the Suez Canal was Big News.

The Suez Canal connects Europe to Asia as part of one of the world’s most significant global trading routes.

So when the entire route was blocked for six whole days because of the grounding of a 400 metre long (that’s a quarter of a mile!) container ship, ‘Ever Given’ – the world’s focus was upon it.

The immediate knock on effect to global commerce was significant. The six day pause became a billion dollar problem for business and insurers. It really was Big News!

But the Ever Given event also became something just as impactful for UltramapGlobal. Even though instead of being ‘Big News’, to almost everybody else apart from UltramapGlobal – what happened in our world was ‘No News’.

The Importance of Partnership.

Ever Given was buffeted by strong winds on the morning of 23 March 2021. It eventually ended up wedged across the waterway with its bow and stern stuck in opposing canal banks. Blocking all traffic. Both ways.

Here’s what this meant to UltramapGlobal.

UltramapGlobal monitor cables in the Gulf of Suez and in the Mediterranean. And as a consequence of the canal blockage there was a build-up of vessels looking for anchorage around Port Said and the Gulf of Suez. They wanted to stay as close as possible to the canal entrance.

These vessels were waiting for the moment when they could travel through the canal again. Most were anticipating a wait lasting hours. But as we now know, they experienced a wait lasting almost a week.

Many spontaneous anchorage areas, a symptom of the six day wait, sprang-up very close to UltramapGlobal customer cables.

UltramapGlobal’s AssetMonitor® software could actually see this happening. And our partners corroborated our observations. It’s because part of what our 24/7 monitoring team does is to work closely with Maritime Authorities. In some cases we work in very close partnership with Navies and Port Authorities to help protect our customer’s assets. And in this case, the relationship that we had already built up with the Port of Suez, the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Traffic Control Centre helped us out immensely.

At one point, there were over 350 vessels waiting to get into the canal. UltramapGlobal worked with the traffic control centre during this period to help pass awareness information showing the location of our customer’s cable, to vessels while they were being directed to safe anchorage areas.

Have I Got (no) News For You.

Hundreds of vessels, spontaneously pausing in the vicinity of thousands of miles of our client’s cables was ‘Big News’ for UltramapGlobal. But it was ‘No News’ – for you.


Because not one of our customer’s subsea cables were hit.

And ‘No Cable Strikes’… means ‘No News’.

You see, in our world, No News – even when dealing with the knock-on effects of what happens when of the world’s biggest sea vessels blocks one of the world’s most significant global trading routes – really is very, very Good News.

Get in touch to see how UltramapGlobal could help protect your subsea assets.

No Comments

Leave a Reply