A container ship of 400-meter-long and 59-meter-wide ran aground on the Suez Canal this Tuesday morning. It caused one hundred ships blocked there in both directions.
With the help of several tugs, the vessel was refloated on 29 March and towed to the Great Bitter Lake for a class inspection. Traffic will be able to resume its normal pace as the 425 vessels waiting to pass through the Canal will begin to transit. It will take about three and a half days to clear the traffic.
This Monday morning, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) confirms that the stern of the ship Ever Given has moved away from the western shore. "The positioning of the ship has been restored to 80% in the right direction, and the stern of the ship has moved away from the shore by 102 meters while it was only four meters," said Ossama Rabie, head of the SCA.
In addition, General Rabie announced the beginning of the refloating of the ship "successfully", saying that the refloating maneuvers will resume when the water flow increases again from 11:30 am local (9:30 am GMT) to completely refloat the ship to reposition it in the middle of the waterway.
Without giving details on the reactivation of the waterway, the Egyptian official said that navigation would resume "as soon as the ship is fully refloated, which will then be directed to the waiting area" to free the channel. "The channel will operate 24 hours a day, immediately after the refloating of the ship". It will take "about three and a half days" for the waiting ships "to pass through the canal," the Egyptian official told Sadaa al-Balad channel.
This 20.388 TEU ship, built-in 2018, is operated by the shipping line Evergreen on the Asia - Europe tradeline, from Shenzhen to Rotterdam. This vessel is now blocking both directions of the canal. It should be noted that the Suez Canal is crossed by 10% of global maritime traffic, blocking a tremendous amount of goods, of a value estimated at more than 10 billion USD.
It’s been reported that’s the incident was caused by a strong wind of 50 km/h. Many local reports said the ship lost power before turning to starboard and its bow was stuck on the canal wall. Tugs tried to move the ship in the first 24 hours after it careened across the waterway. A digger has been trying to free the bow of the ship, while three dredgers have arrived and are working on the port side of the giant 399 m long Evergreen-operated vessel.
According to the photos taken by the crew on the other vessels in the canal, the Maersk Denver, this 20.388 TEU ship was built in 2018. It is a route from Shenzhen to Rotterdam. After resting near the entrance of the Red Sea Canal on Tuesday morning, it blocked both directions of the canal.
A team of eight from SMIT Salvage, a company specialized and renowned in ship rescues, flew into Egypt this Thursday morning and Peter Berdowski, the CEO of SMIT’s parent, Royal Boskalis Westminster told that the operation to unblock the ship will take days to a week.
Some shipping companies have changed their route through the Cape of Good Hope. The Ever Greet and the Hyundai Prestige were the first two box ships reported to have changed their route, making for the tip of southern Africa rather than the Suez Canal. The HMM Rotterdam followed suit today, doing a u-turn around Gibraltar.
Please find hereafter the list of the vessels affected by this blocking:
|NEW YORK EXPRESS
|CMA CGM CHAMPS ELYSEES
|CMA CGM GEORG FORSTER
|CMA CGM LISA MARIE
|CMA CGM LYRA
|COSCO SHIPPING CAPRICORN
|COSCO SHIPPING LEO
|COSCO SHIPPING PEONY
|XIN CHANG SHU
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