Tugs And Dredgers Try To Free Giant Container Ship Blocking Suez Canal

Suez Canal ship stuck

The Suez Canal handles around 12% of global trade, making it an essential point of passage. Singapore's Minister of Transport Ong Ye Kung said the country's port should expect disruptions.

The Ever Given's technical mangers, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said another attempt to refloat the vessel on Friday was not successful, and that the salvage operation was now focused on removing sand and mud from around the port (left) side of the vessel's bow.

Analysts have warned that the ongoing blockage in the Suez Canal is likely to have significant repercussions for global supply chains, which have already been under strain since the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.

The canal authority released a video showing Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei inspecting efforts to free the Ever Given and telling workers: "Good luck, God willing".

The Ever Given is now facing "extreme difficulty" in refloating the ship, the owner said. Data intelligence firm Kpler said that three of the tankers were being diverted towards the longer route around Africa, via the Cape of Good Hope.

"[Mr. X] is available to provide further insight on the maritime traffic jam that is blocking one of the world's most important shipping lanes after a massive cargo ship got stuck sideways across Egypt's Suez Canal", one said.

Mr Reynolds told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the Maersk Ohio, a US-flagged container ship that is 292m long and weighs 50,000 tonnes, was "stacked up" alongside dozens of others vessels near Port Suez.

Douglas Kent, executive vice president of strategy and alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management, noted that even after the ship is dislodged the impacts will continue to be felt. But we also understand when other sailors are in a fix or other seamen are working really hard day and night to try to correct a situation.

A blockage of this kind and of this scale has never happened in the Canal's 150-year history.

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Meanwhile, the challenge remains the same: freeing the Ever Given, which is still wedged between the banks of the Suez Canal at about the 93-mile mark.

This is a big deal because the ship's size and wind conditions could hamper efforts to clear the busy shipping route in time.

A team from Boskalis, a Dutch firm specialised in salvaging, started working with the canal authority Thursday.

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Memes about the Suez Canal are dominating social media.

Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the canal from the Red Sea, but that none of its containers had sunk.

The Ever Given was involved in an accident in northern Germany in 2019, when it ran into a small ferry moored on the Elbe River in Hamburg. No passengers were on the ferry at the time and there were no injuries, but it was seriously damaged.

Hamburg prosecutors opened an investigation of the freighter's captain and pilot on suspicion of endangering shipping traffic, but shelved it in March 2020 for lack of evidence, spokeswoman Liddy Oechtering told The Associated Press on Friday.

"When a vessel runs aground Suez Canal officials are alone empowered to order and direct all operations required to get the vessel afloat", according to the Suez Canal Authority Rules of Navigation.

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