The Suez Canal resumed operations after mega box ship Ever Given, stuck crosswise in the Suez Canal since March 23, was successfully refloated on March 29
About 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged to help free the vessel and a total of 11 harbor tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs were deployed
High tides helped the tugs and dredgers in their work, and on March 29, the stern was freed while the bow also came unstuck, allowing Ever Given to move out
Ever Given will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness and to determine if the ship can resume its scheduled service
Shipping traffic has resumed at the Suez Canal after mega container ship Ever Given, which had been stuck crosswise since March 23 on one of the world’s busiest shipping arteries, was successfully refloated on March 29.
Navigation in the canal resumed on March 29 at 6 pm local time in Egypt (12 am, March 30 in Manila) according to Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, chairman and managing director of the Suez Canal Authority, adding that the first ships that were moving carried livestock.
The 20,000-TEU capacity vessel is leaving the grounding site with the assistance of tugboats in order for the Suez Canal to resume normal operations and finally allow other ships to pass, Taiwan-based carrier Evergreen said in a statement.
The 224,000-ton vessel chartered by Evergreen ran aground in the Suez Canal after being knocked off course by 40-knot winds and a sandstorm that caused low visibility and poor navigation. The Suez Canal is a vital passageway between east and west. Ever Given was en route to Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands when it got stuck in the Suez Canal.
Ever Given will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness and to determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service, said Evergreen. Once the inspection is finalized, decisions will be made regarding arrangements for cargo currently on board.
“We are most grateful to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and all the concerned parties for their assistance and support through this difficult and unfortunate situation. We would also like to express our deepest appreciation to the crew who remain steadfast in their posts as well as the salvage experts and dredging team for their professionalism and relentless efforts over the past 6 days toward securing this outcome,” Evergreen said.
Dutch salvage company Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., one of the companies that assisted in refloating Ever Given, said about 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged to help free the vessel and a total of 11 harbor tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs were deployed.
High tides helped the tugs and dredgers in their work, and on March 29, the stern (rear of the ship) was freed while the bow (front) also came unstuck, and the Ever Given was able to move out.
Evergreen said it will also coordinate with the shipowner, Japan-based Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., “to deal with subsequent matters” after the shipowner and other concerned parties complete investigation reports into the incident.
According to Lloyd’s List, Ever Given was holding up an estimated US$9.6 billion of goods each day: westbound traffic worth $5.1 billion, and eastbound traffic of $4.5 billion. This translates to $400 million an hour in trade along the waterway.
Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal is a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargo. Over 10% of global trade, including 7% of the world’s oil, passes through the canal.