The Suez Canal is finally open again after the giant vessel that had blocked it for a week is refloated. The 220,000-ton Ever Given container ship managed to get wedged between both sides of the strategic waterway last week. The subsequent blockage disrupted global trade and international markets. Analysts forecast it has cost Egypt $100 million in lost revenue. The week-long jam means there is a backlog of ships waiting to sail through the canal. More than 450 ships are anchored in the Red Sea or in the Mediterranean near both ends of the canal. Authorities say they will try and double the daily average of 50 ships to pass through the channel to around 90 to 100 vessels.
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There has been a monumental effort over the past week to free the 400-metre-long Ever Given. Dredgers have been clearing sand underneath it in an attempt to refloat it, and a flotilla of 30 tug boats worked to pull it away from the canal's banks. They were helped by a high tide in the final hours of the salvage operation. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi thanked everyone who took part in the effort to refloat the ship. On social media, he said the refloating was successful despite there being "massive technical complexity". He added: "The world can now rest assured about the passage of goods through this pivotal shipping route. Egyptians today proved that they are always up to the challenge."