ASU expert: Suez Canal blockage impact will be felt for months

The ripple effects from the Ever Given's blocking of the Suez Canal are expected to last for months, at a time when the world was already trying to make up for supply chain issues caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ever Given's blockage of the canal, which ended on March 29, created a traffic jam and forced delays and full stops to the world's imports and exports.

"It really underlines how susceptible to closure some of our major waterways are," said Arizona State University Logistics and Supply Management Professor Dale Rogers.

Rogers says about 12% of the world's trade moves through the canal, which is about two football fields wide.

"We are looking at $10 billion in product per day," said Rogers. "That is substantial."

The blockage is expected to cause delays in many products people see on the shelves in the United States. Experts say toilet paper, instant coffee, and even gas prices could be impacted, as the Suez Canal is how much of the world’s crude oil is transported and shipped from the Middle East to the U.S.

Experts say the canal's blockage further illustrates how the waterway holds the key to many things people do daily in the U.S.

"We get these things very close to the time they are needed. It really is a ripple effect," said Rogers. "We are way too dependent on that narrow strip of water, which was made 150 years ago."

Rogers says people will not feel the blockage's impacts immediately. He says it could be three months, in about June or July, when people will be able to fully tell the impact of this the blockage and the resultant traffic jam.