Massive container ship freed from Suez Canal

The high tide on Sunday night helped to free the ship, reports Asian Lite News.

A massive container ship which had blocked the Suez Canal since March 23 has been freed and re-floated, maritime service provider Inchcape Shipping said on Monday.

The Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, had veered off its course in a single-lane stretch of the canal during a sandstorm.

“The MV Ever Given was successfully re-floated at 4.3 a.m.. She is being secured at the moment,” Inchcape Shipping tweeted.

The high tide on Sunday night helped to free the ship, the service provider indicated.

The vital waterway is expected to be ready to resume traffic by 11 a.m. (local time), an Egyptian presidential advisor on the Suez Canal projects said on Monday, according to the Dubai-based television CNBC Arabia TV.

So far, there has been no official confirmation from the state Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

Online footage showed the vessel repositioned.

Ten giant tug boats were engaged in “pulling manoeuvres” to refloat the vessel, (SCA) head Osama Rabae said earlier on Monday.

Dredgers and tug boats had been working around the clock to free the massive 400-metre-long-vessel.

The blockage of the canal led to disrupted supply chains and sent ripples through global markets.

According to the canal authority, around 370 ships were waiting for passage on both sides of the canal, including 25 oil tankers.

Financial news wire Bloomberg reported there could even be 450 waiting ships.

The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, provides the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe.

The blockage was costing the canal operator $13 million to $14 million in losses per day, according to the head of SCA.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi had ordered preparations for the possibility of reducing the load of containers on the vessel to help free it.

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

The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt’s main sources of income, alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

Revenue from the waterway reached $5.6 billion last year.

The Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie told Egypt’s Extra News on Sunday.

Crude oil prices fell after news the ship had been re-floated, with Brent crude down by $1 per barrel to $63.67. Shares of Taiwan-listed Evergreen Marine Corp – the vessel’s lessor – rose 3.3 percent.

About 15 percent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, which is a key source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt. The current stoppage is costing the canal $14-$15 million a day.

Shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship became stranded, and the blockage has disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for companies already dealing with COVID-19 restrictions.

Some shippers had decided to reroute their cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope, adding about two weeks to journeys and extra fuel costs.

Also Read-Panama celebrates 20 years in charge of Canal

Read More-Race against time to unblock Suez Canal

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