Suez Canal shipping backlog to end as probe continues

Marco Green
Апреля 5, 2021

The Ever Given snagged on the bottom of the Suez Canal on March 23 and remained wedged for nearly a week, blocking traffic through one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

The SCA said on Saturday that all 422 ships stranded by the Japanese-owned, Taiwanese-operated Ever Given had passed through the canal by the end of the day.

Almost 19,000 ships navigated the canal in 2020, working out to an average of just over 50 per day, it says.

Marwa Elselehdar, 29, was working as a first mate in command of a ship in Alexandria when she started seeing online rumours which claimed she was to blame for the huge container ship that became wedged, blocking one of the world's major shipping routes on March 23.

The canal authority began an investigation Wednesday into what exactly caused the Ever Given to run aground and block the waterway.

At least 18,840 ships passed through the canal a year ago.

More than 99 per cent of New Zealand's import/export volumes are shipped by sea; these tonnages account for 80 per cent of national trade value.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (centre) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (right) are seen behind a tug following the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower (not shown) during a transit of the Suez Canal on Friday.

"Ninety-nine percent" of personnel who worked to refloat the giant vessel were Egyptian, according to Rabie.

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

The Maritime data company Lloyd's List said the blockage had held up an estimated $9.6 billion worth of cargo each day between Asia and Europe.

The Ever Given and its cargo are now in the Great Bitter Lake, roughly halfway along the canal. "First female Lloyd Arab captain involved in incident".

In 2015 she became the first captain to navigate through the expanding Suez Canal on the training vessel Aida 4.

Egypt is expecting more than $1.4 billion in compensation, according to the top canal official. He also warned the ship and its cargo will not be allowed leave Egypt if the issue of damages goes to court.

Five days after a skyscraper-sized container vessel was dislodged from the Suez Canal, the backlog of ships waiting to cross through the Egyptian waterway has been cleared, the canal authority says.

There were around 75 crude-oil and chemical tankers, it said.

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