By Olivia Lambert / YahooNews

A striking satellite image shows the severity of the shipping traffic jam after a vessel blocked one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for trade linking Asia and Europe.

The huge container ship, Ever Given, has blocked the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” and could take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday (local time) in a new setback for global trade.

The man-made Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea, creating a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia.

It acts as a passage from the North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean so vessels don’t have to circumnavigate through treacherous waters around the Cape of Good Hope on the African continent.

The Ever Given “megaship” is longer than four football fields and is wedged diagonally across the entire canal, where about 10 per cent of world trade by volume passes through – so the traffic jam is a big problem as it could impact the global flow of oil and gas.

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