Six Hapag-Lloyd ships are currently stuck in front of the Suez Canal or in the middle of it. Including the 360-meter-long freighter “New York Express”, which has to anchor in the middle of the canal on the Great Bitter Lake. Several dozen ships that would need a few more days to reach the Suez Canal are now making the long detour around Africa. One of them is the “Ever Greet”, a sister ship of the “Ever Given”, which blocks the canal. The “Ever Greet” was supposed to arrive in Hamburg in mid-April. Due to the detour of around 7,000 kilometers around South Africa, the timetable is expected to be postponed by 10 to 15 days.
Several tankers have already changed their routes in the middle of the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic. It is unclear when the Suez Canal can be opened again. A representative of the Dutch rescue company who is on site speaks of days or weeks.
Effects on the Port of Hamburg
The accident will also affect the port of Hamburg and will probably lead to less handling in the week after Easter. The port industry fears that if the canal is blocked for a long time, industrial operations will have to be shut down temporarily. More than 150 ships are affected, and the timetables on the main trade route from Europe to Southeast Asia are mixed up. The mega container ship “Ever Given”, which is stuck in the Suez Canal, was originally supposed to moor in Hamburg on April 8th.
Extra layers are probably necessary
Angela Titzrath, the head of the port operator HHLA, hopes that there will not be long-term disruptions in the canal. However, she admitted that many ships have been unpunctual since the beginning of the year. Gunther Bonz, head of the Hamburg Port Association, says that additional shifts are likely to be necessary to catch up with the traffic jam.
No more entering European ports?
According to information from NDR 90.3, there is already discussion at EU level about whether the ship can be refused to call at a port in Europe in the future. The main reason: It is the second time that the “Ever Given” has broken down due to technical problems. In 2019 she rammed the “Blankenese” jetty.
Ship becomes unable to maneuver
The “Ever Given” built in 2018 is 400 meters long and 59 meters wide. It sails under the Panamanian flag and is managed by a subsidiary of the Hamburg shipping company Bernhard Schulte. The ship was caught in a sandstorm in the Suez Canal on the night of March 24th Off course and run aground. It came from China and was on its way to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.