Efforts to re-float the container ship stuck in the Suez Canal were suspended late on Friday and will be resumed on Saturday, sources said.

The latest attempt to remove 20,000 cubic metres of sand at the tanker’s bow of Ever Given started earlier on Friday.

The blockage of Suez Canal has been causing a “traffic jam” in the Red Sea as more than 230 ships are waiting to enter the canal.

Tugboats and dredgers are trying to dislodge the giant ship that is wedged diagonally across canal.

The 400m-long, 200,000-tonne vessel ran aground on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.

Specialist salvage companies have been brought in to help refloat the ship.

An adviser to Egypt’s president has expressed the hopes that the situation will be resolved within two to three days. But experts have said it could take weeks if the vessel’s containers need to be removed.

About 12 percent of global trade passes through the 193km (120-mile) canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe.

An alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, can take two weeks longer.


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