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Transportation

Suez Canal doubles traffic to clear backlog, from cattle to crude

Waterway remains cost-competitive alternative to African route

TOKYO/ISMAILIA, Egypt -- The Suez Canal doubled the volume of ships allowed through the 120-mile waterway on Tuesday as it rushed to clear the backlog of hundreds of vessels after a mammoth carrier had blocked passage for nearly a week.

More than 400 ships were left mired after the 400-meter long Ever Given had become stuck last week. The ship was eventually freed by a flotilla of tugboats on Monday, allowing passage to resume. The 422 vessels in the traffic jam -- carrying everything from cattle to crude oil -- were expected to be cleared in about three-and-a-half days, Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said.

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