The Suez Canal is one of the most important shortcuts in the history of transport logistics. When it was first completed in 1869, it cut journey distances by over 5,000 miles, as sea freight no longer had to travel across the Indian and South Atlantic oceans.
It has recently made headlines when a gigantic transport vessel, the Ever Given, managed to run aground in such a way that it blocked the entire Suez Canal, blocking dozens of other vessels and halting goods transportation on one of the busiest single waterways.
The rescue operation required several tugboats and diggers on the banks of the Suez to work in tandem to help free the stricken vessel and help it continue moving.
It was built, and is used by 12 per cent of all sea freight, to fix a problem many early explorers and traders had, which is how long it took to travel between Europe and Asia via the Middle East.
Previously, ships needed to travel around Africa, specifically the southern most point of Cape Town, South Africa, a point known as the Cape of Good Hope. This voyage can take days and add thousands of miles to the journey.
What was found is that if it was possible to create a canal between the Mediterranian Sea and the Red Sea, the journey could be cut down to just 12 hours.
Eventually a canal was created between the city of Port Said in north east Egypt, and the port of the city of Suez, 120 miles away, and it has become a vital part of global logistics supply chains.