Tuesday 4/13/21
SUEZ CANAL

Massive container ship freed from Suez Canal

When the Suez Canal will be reopened to traffic was initially not clear.

HANDOUT - 28 March 2021, Egypt, Suez: Tugboats take part in the refloating operation carried out to free the "Ever Given", a container ship operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation, which is currently stuck in the Suez Canal. The pressure is mounting on Egypt to dislodge the Panama-flagged massive container ship which has blocked the Suez Canal since Tuesday, as more shipping firms are rerouting their vessels away from the waterway. Photo: -/Suez Canal Authority/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
Tugboats take part in the refloating operation carried out to free the 'Ever Given'. Photo: Suez Canal Authority/dpa.

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

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

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

The high tide overnight which was accompanied by a full moon helped to free the ship, the service provider indicated.

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

When the Suez Canal will be reopened to traffic was initially not clear.

370 ships waiting

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 reportd 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 dollars in losses per day, according to the head of the state Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

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

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