Stranded Suez Canal ship Evergiven, with all-Indian crew, refloated

Traffic jam builds behind massive cargo ship stuck in Egypt's Suez Canal World3 days ago0:39

Helped by the peak of high tide, a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bulbous bow of the Ever Given from the canal's sandy bank, where it had been firmly lodged since last Tuesday.

The Suez Canal is vital, as it connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and is the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe - making it one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

The giant vessel headed toward the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, where it will be inspected, said Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship.

Now that the Ever Given has been pulled form the canal, the ship will undergo technical inspection to determine if any significant damage was done and the canal will be inspected to ensure other ships can get through safely.

The stoppage caused a tailback of hundreds of vessels, snarled supply chains already under pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic and provided a stark reminder of the fragility of the global trade infrastructure.

She notes that it was an earlier closure of the canal, during the Suez Crisis in the 1950s, that led shipping companies to build ever larger "megaships" like the Ever Given.

Egypt was eager to resume traffic along the Suez Canal, which brings in between $5 billion and $6 billion in revenue each year.

Stranded Ever Given back afloat in Suez Canal: Reports
Ship 'partially refloated' but still stuck in Suez Canal

At least 367 vessels, carrying everything from crude oil to cattle, have piled up on either end of the canal, waiting to pass.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who had not publicly commented on the blockage, said Egypt had ended the crisis and assured resumption of trade through the canal.

While the Ever Given was stuck, many ships have been stuck waiting for it to clear, while some other ships had to take a different, much longer, route around Africa. "I thank every honest Egyptian who contributed technically and practically to ending this crisis".

Leth Agencies said early Monday that the breakthrough came after intensive efforts to push and pull the ship with 10 tugboats and vacuum up sand with several dredgers at spring tide. Canal officials did not have to lighten the ship by removing its 20,000 containers.

Egyptian authorities were desperate to get traffic flowing again through the waterway that's a conduit for about 12 per cent of world trade and about 1 million barrels of oil a day.

"Since most of the imports blocked over the last week are heading to Europe, U.S. consumers will likely see little effect on prices of U.S. imports, except to the extent that intermediate products of U.S. final goods are made in Europe", said Bergstrand, professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

The shutdown had threatened to stop oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East.


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