Since Wednesday, a 400-meter container ship has blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt, disrupting international trade and costing the world economy millions per day:
International efforts to dislodge the skyscraper-size cargo ship blocking Egypt's Suez Canal intensified but made little progress Thursday as the maritime traffic jam wreaked havoc on global trade.
Egyptian authorities said navigation was still "temporarily suspended" after the container got stuck sideways across the canal because of a severe dust storm and poor visibility.
That meant traffic remained at a standstill on a route that accounts for about 12 percent of global trade as the shipping saga passed the 48-hour mark.
The Suez Canal usually allows 50 cargo ships pass daily between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, providing a vital trade corridor between Europe and Asia.
Photos released by Suez authorities showed a digger removing earth and rock from the canal's bank and around the ship's bow.
More on that in a sec. The BBC explains how the canal authorities have tried unsuccessfully to get the ship out of the way:
The focus however has now turned to digging out sand and mud from around the vessel's hull.
The Netherlands-based dredging company Boskalis is managing this operation.
The ship's management company BSM says an additional specialist "suction dredger" is now in place able to shift 2,000 cubic meters of material every hour.
"It might take weeks depending on the situation" to free the ship using a combination of dredging, tugging and the removal of weight from the vessel.
These efforts have led to the meme of the pandemic: