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EVERGREEN ANNOUNCE ULTRA-LARGE SHIP BLOCKING SUEZ CANAL REFLOATED, NORMAL TRANSITS TO RESUME
March 30, 2021
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Evergreen Line announced that the 20,000 TEU-class container vessel that has blocked the Suez Canal the past days, has been successfully refloated — paving the way for transits in one of the busiest waterways to resume.

 

EVER GIVEN, currently leased under a time charter agreement, ran aground and became lodged sideways across the southern entry of the canal on March 23 as gusting winds reportedly caused the container ship to deviate from its course.

 

The ship was deployed on the China-Rotterdam service route.

 

"Evergreen Line is pleased to confirm that EVER GIVEN has been successfully refloated within the Suez Canal at approximately 15:00 March 29 local time," the Taiwanese transport company said in a statement. 

 

The liner said in order for the Canal to resume normal operation, the vessel is leaving the grounding site with the assistance of tugboats.

 

"The chartered vessel will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness. The outcome of that inspection will determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service. Once the inspection is finalized, decisions will be made regarding arrangements for cargo currently on board," it added.

 

Evergreen thanked the Suez Canal Authority and all the concerned parties for their assistance through what it described as a "difficult and unfortunate situation" and those who worked to relentless efforts over the past 6 days to refloat the vessel.

 

"Evergreen will coordinate with the shipowner to deal with subsequent matters after the shipowner and other concerned parties complete investigation reports into the incident," the Taiwanese liner added.

 

Self Photos / Files - 4e02b473-138b-44d5-92ee-63f1634745cc_16x9_1200x676

 

Suez Canal Authority says navigation to resume 'immediately'

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) also confirmed the development with Admiral Osama Rabie, chairman and managing director at the SCA saying the container ship has been successfully refloated.

 

He then assured that operations at the major waterway would resume immediately after authorities imposed a temporary suspension of navigation through the Suez Canal last March 25.

 

"This was the result of successful push and tow manoeuvres which led to the restoration of 80% of the vessel’s direction; with the stern 102 metres away from the bank of the Canal now instead of 4 metres prior to the refloating," the Admiral said.

 

"Maneuvers are set to be resumed once more during high tide at 11:30 a.m.; as it shall reach 2 metres, allowing for the full restoration of the vessel's direction so it is positioned in the middle of the navigable waterway," he added.

 

Admiral Rabie further said: "I would like to reassure the international navigation society as navigation shall be resumed immediately upon the complete restoration of the vessel’s direction and directing it to the Bitter Lakes waiting area for technical inspection."
 
He also commended the joint efforts of multiple parties to remove the blockage.
 
"In all certainty, work will be complete very soon," the SCA chief said.
 
Navigation on both directions of the Suez Canal resumed at 6:00 p.m. local time, he said, saying that the challenge now is managing the backlog and congestion of ships — that could take "three or three and a half days to end the congestion of ships" at the current rate of working day and night.
 
There are around 422 ships waiting to transit through the Suez Canal, according to Admiral Rabie and they will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis, although vessels loaded with livestock were permitted to cross in the first convoy of the day.
 
Despite the development, shipping lines are advising their customers that it could take few more days before operations could return to normal.
 
Maersk issued an advisory saying it could take "6 days or more" for the line to clear. The company said that was an estimate and subject to change as more vessels reach the blockage or are diverted.
 
CMA CGM said is it is thoroughly monitoring the situation as 21 CMA CGM and partner vessels are impacted. To mitigate the impact of the incident, it also decided to divert some vessels around the Cape of Good Hope.
 
The journey to cross the Suez Canal takes 10 to 12 hours and in the event the channel operates for 24 hours, two convoys per day will be able to successfully pass through.
 
Blockage cost pegged at US$14M to US$15M daily
 
SCA chairman Rabie said on Saturday that the Suez Canal's revenues were taking a US$14million to US$15million hit for each day of the blockage.
 

Lloyd's List said separately that vessels impacted were holding up an estimated US$9.6billion in freight along the waterway each day — which equates to US$400million and 3.3 million tonnes of cargo an hour.

 

German insurer Allianz said on Friday that based on its analysis, the Suez Canal blockage could cost global trade between US$6billion to US$10billion per week and a reduced annual trade growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points.

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