A 400 meter long container ship continues to block one of the most important waterways in the world. Even ten tugs could not clear the Suez Canal again. Pictures show the ship’s precarious situation.
A crashed container ship continued to block the Suez Canal on Wednesday evening. Ten tugs initially tried in vain to free the approximately 400-meter-long ship from its bank position in one of the most important waterways in the world. The industry service provider GAC corrected earlier information in the afternoon, according to which the “Ever Given” had been partly made afloat again.
Photos showed how excavators tore earth and rock from the edge of the canal at the bow of the ship. The oil price also rose by about six percent because of the accident. According to an insider, the work should continue at night, as far as the weather permits.
The 224,000 tonne and 59 meter wide freighter is one of the largest container ships in the world. According to the port authority, he was unable to maneuver in a sandstorm in strong winds, lost course and ran aground near the port city of Suez. Ships jammed in both directions.
“Like the complete closure of a motorway”
The Association of German Shipowners warned of the effects of a longer blockade. “It’s like the complete closure of a large German motorway. The longer it takes, the more clearly the effects will be seen,” said a spokesman. Even after the blockade of the Suez Canal, the ports are likely to be confronted with another concentration. Then all the freighters would come to check in at once.
According to experts and shipping circles, the Japanese owner Shoei Kisen and the insurers are likely to face claims in the millions. “Everything falls back on the ship,” said David Smith, marine manager at insurance broker McGill and Partners. According to two insiders, the “Ever Given” is insured with Japanese companies.
The freighter “Ever Given” is stuck in the Suez Canal: the Internet platform Vesselfinder shows several tug boats next to the large container ship. (Source: Screenshot / Vesselfinder.com)
In industry circles, there was talk of $ 100 to 140 million in insurance sums just for damage to the hull and the machines. In addition, the owners of the stowed ships are likely to demand compensation. A lawyer, who refused to be named, said: “This is possibly the biggest disaster with a container ship that didn’t make a bang.” There was no comment from Shoei Kisen.
Around twelve percent of the global freight volume and around 30 percent of the container volume flow through the Suez Canal. According to the canal authority, almost 19,000 ships passed the waterway last year, making an average of almost 52 ships a day.
The alternative route around the southern tip of Africa takes a week longer. For Egypt, the channel is an important source of hard currencies: the total in 2020 was about $ 5.6 billion.