By Grace Kay /

The ship Ever Given trapped in the Suez Canal in Egypt on Thursday. Suez Canal Authority

The Suez Canal jam could cause shortages of toilet paper, coffee, furniture, and other imported goods.

Depending on how long it takes to move a hulking 224,000-ton freighter called the Ever Given – said to be bigger than the Empire State Building – that ran aground on Tuesday, shoppers could see a shortage of numerous items.

It will affect “basically anything you see in the stores,” Lars Jensen, an independent container-shipping expert based in Denmark, told NBC News .

About 12% of global trade moves through the Suez Canal, the Egyptian waterway that connects Europe and Asia. The Ever Given, one of the largest vessels in the canal, has been blocking hundreds of cargo ships from passing through.

Even before the blockage, businesses were struggling with supply shortages because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nike Costco Toyota, Honda , and Samsung have recently said supply-chain issues are harming business this quarter and would likely have an impact going forward.

The Suez Canal logjam has added a layer to the delays and shortages. Experts have said that the blockage is costing about $400 million an hour and that the stuck vessel could take weeks to move . Some ships will take an alternate route around Africa, adding 15,000 miles and about two weeks to their journey.

Empty shelves of toilet paper at a supermarket during the coronavirus pandemic. Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images




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