Suez Canal Authority says Egypt will seek $1 billion in damages

The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey and the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner are seen behind a tug following the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower during a transit of the Suez Canal on Friday. (US Navy Han

All ships stranded by the grounding of a giant container ship in the Suez Canal in March have now passed through the canal, ending the backlog that built up during the blockage, officials said on Saturday.

"He added that the committee set up to investigate the incident includes a navigation expert, a legal expert, an engineer and a compensation expert to estimate the losses and damage caused throughout the period of disruption to the Suez Canal shipping route".

Earlier, Leth Agencies said that a total of 357 vessels have crossed the Canal since the ship was re-floated by a flotilla of tugboats, helped by the tides.

An estimated $9.6bn (£7bn) of goods were being held up by the ship each day as the blockage continued.

Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is seen in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Traffic on the canal, a conduit for over 10 percent of world trade, had begun moving again on Monday evening after the 200,000-ton MV Ever Given was refloated with the help of global salvage experts.

Late Friday, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority told an Egyptian television station the remaining 61 ships would pass through the canal on Saturday.

Last Monday, the Egyptian president's advisor for the canal authority told Bloomberg that it could take "around a week" to get all of the ships out of the canal's corridor.

The blockage put further pressure on supply chains already stretched by the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the remaining ships successfully pass through the waterway on Saturday, the backlog's end will have beaten expectations by a couple of days.

When the 1,312-foot Ever Given ship ran aground March 23, it blocked canal traffic, grinding maritime shipping to a halt at one of the world's busiest waterways. He warned that the ship and its some $3.5bn worth of cargo will not be allowed to leave the country if the issue goes to court.

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.



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