A huge container ship, Ever Given has blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt since Tuesday, 23rd March. More than 200 container ships have been stuck on both sides of the 1,312 ft long behemoth. Reportedly, the vessel was met by unexpected wind and dust storm. It lost control and wedged perpendicularly across one of the world’s most busy and narrow trade routes. Hundreds of Suez Canal blockage memes flooded the internet with different takes on this situation. The incident is worrisome because about 12% of the global trade and 9% of the global oil products pass through the Suez Canal. It connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and provides the fastest sea route between Europe and Asia. The blockage of such a route led many meme makers to point out reasons other than “strong wind” that caused this failure.
Funny Suez Canal Blockage Memes Show the Worst-Case Scenario for Global Trade
The accident exposed a weakness in the global trade system that continues to blame natural phenomena more than human error. The potential for such accidents is always there considering the flow of traffic on this strait. Approximately, 50 container ships pass through the route on daily basis.
There have been numerous incidents of ships running aground while passing through the Suez Canal. In 2016, it happened with a merchant ship, New Katarina which was traveling from Ukraine to Qingdao. Moreover, in 2018 another massive container ship Aeneas ran aground resulting in the collision of 5 ships. However, most of the accidents had a relatively minor impact on trade than Ever Given had.
Here are 10 of the funniest Suez Canal blockage memes that are making rounds on the internet after the accident.
Thoughts on The Excavation Efforts
According to the reports, eight tug boats have been working to free the vessel from its confinement. The efforts have produced no results which turned out funny for the public. Someone decided to also use a crane in order to move the 200,000 tons container ship. The scene was enough for the people to lose all hope of seeing the vessel get free any time soon.
Many Suez Canal blockage memes were based on this very picture
It Feels Like Eliminating Racism from Society
Some also used the crane-based effort to describe how hard it was to fight against racism. All efforts seemed fickle against the growing instances of racism around the globe. The memers showed that the crane represented those same efforts while the problem in front of them was immovable.
Some other folks made Suez Canal blockage memes to suggest wider routes for such heavy containers.
Not an Ideal Route
For the sake of maritime security, a shipping company can simulate such instances to determine whether it was a suitable route to take for a massive vessel. Meme makers used a scene from the film series Austin Powers to show what they understood from the situation. In the scene, Austin’s cart got stuck just like the Ever Given after attempting to make a U-turn between the corridor. The meme was relatable to the blockage situation because Austin blamed the walls instead of his decision to enter a confined space with a large vehicle.
Missing the Old Ways
After witnessing how new trade routes have worked out, social media users recalled how efficient were the old ones. They suggested the cargo ships take those traditional routes like the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. They might be longer but are comparatively safer than the narrow Suez Canal.
Ships usually arrived at a port with large bodies of water so the traffic can easily come and go. After modernization of trade routes, most ships have to go through some dangerous predicaments before reaching the destination. These ships carry hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo which makes it impossible for operators to react timely and turn the ship away from impact.
Blaming the Local Traffic Jam on Ever Given as Well
The picture of stuck cargo ship went so viral that people started reporting it as the cause of traffic jam in their respective localities.
Plans to Re-float
The media reported that it would require specialist equipment to re-float the ship and a lot more time than the owners of cargo could afford. The grounding of Ever Given is highly severe which complicates the possibility of salvaging or re-floating. Users hilariously changed the concept of re-floating to further mock the contingency plan of Taiwanese freighter, Evergreen Marine.
Many confused the company’s name with the ship name. ‘EVERGREEN’ appeared in the capital fashion across the ship whereas the actual ships’ name was not clearly visible due to tiny printing.
Suez Canal Will Remain Blocked for Weeks
Reportedly, it could take weeks for the Ever Given to make the trade route functional again. As a result, most companies would have to absorb the blowback on global supply chain, which is already disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vessels that are stuck nearby would now have to take a 15,000-mile-long detour around the tip of Africa and some would eventually pass through the Cape of Good Hope. However, experts analyzed that the detour would increase the prices of oil and risk inflation due to transport costs.
The Strategic Importance of Suez Canal
The man-made Suez Canal is 120 miles long and welcomes transport of everything including oil, gas, machine parts, and different consumer goods. The route is so strategic that countries have fought wars over it. One historical meme referenced the Suez Crises of 1956 by containing the pictures of the late Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. After fending off the attacking Israeli and European forces, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal for years to enrage its enemies and neighbors.
Experts have estimated that the blockage has been costing 400 million USD per hour. No wonder the Suez Canal blockage memes keep on coming.