The toy industry is among the hundreds of global businesses to be caught up in the Suez Canal as the beaching of the container ship Ever Given runs into its fourth day, with suggestions that a solution could be weeks in the taking.
Officials at the scene have deliberated plans to move the vessel, a container ship that has run aground on the sand banks of the 250 meter wide canal, that include removing the cargo, oil and water from aboard the ship in order to lighten its load.
The suggestion made by the Suez Canal Authority as it works a plan to refloat the ship and resume traffic on one of the world’s key trade routes, could take a matter of weeks to complete.
The 220,000 tonne, 400 meter long vessel currently has 13 ships behind it. At least 150 ships in total have been delayed by the blockage, the canal service provider Leth Agencies said, including ships near Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea and Port Suez on the Red Sea.
Among the hundreds of containers stacked aboard the ship and the thousands of businesses now impacted by the blockage is the UK’s own KAP Toys who currently has a 40-foot container of Harry Potter Sorting Hats aboard the vessel.
KAP Toys’ managing director, Nathaniel Southworth, told ToyNews: “If there are plans to lift the cargo off the ship I’m sure the Wingardium Leviosa spell would be the Hogwart’s recommendation! We just hope for everyone affected that normal service is resumed and impacts kept to a minimum.
“Whether this delay will result in stock shortages we just don’t know but we want it sorted because it is one of our best sellers and Harry Potter fans love their Sorting Hats.”
Additional reporting by Peter Jenkinson