Authorities announced that Suez Canal reopens after the massive container ship is freed. The Ever Given, a giant stranded ship, was stuck in the Suez Canal. It had been cutting off traffic in the vital waterway for almost a week.
According to Leth Agencies, the vessel sailed north to the Great Bitter Lake, arriving there just before 1 p.m. ET. Significantly, the ship will now undergo a technical inspection.
The Suez Canal Authority announced the ship had responded to the pulling and towing maneuvers and had corrected its course by 80%.
Notably, Ever Given is one of the world’s biggest container ships.. The 220,000-ton vessel can carry 20,000 containers, and stretching over 1,300 feet is almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall.
The ship created further disruptions in a global supply chain. Significantly, the global supply chain is already straining under the ongoing impacts of coronavirus.
Nearly 12% of global trade passes through this canal. Lloyd’s List estimates that over $9 billion worth of goods passes through the 120-mile waterway each day, translating to nearly $400 million per hour.
The technical manager of the vessel, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, announced last week that the Ever Given ran aground due to heavy winds. Moreover, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie reported that human or technical error may have contributed to the ship deviating from its course.
Approximately 19,000 ships passed through the canal during 2020
Moreover, salvage crews were called in to help with the dredge operation. Over ten tugboats were on the scene, as well as specialized dredging equipment. Remarkably, over 20,000 tons of sand and mud were removed throughout the refloating operation.
The ship refloating suggests traffic can continue in the Suez Canal. According to the Suez Canal Authority, approximately 19,000 ships passed through the canal during 2020, for an average of 51.5 per day.
According to estimates from Leth Agencies, over 350 vessels are currently waiting on either side of the canal. This includes container vessels, bulk carriers, and oil tankers. As the ship remained stuck last week, some ship operators had to re-route vessels around the Cape of Good Hope. Notably, it added more than a week of additional sailing time while also raising fuel expenses.
After the Ever Given arrived at Great Bitter Lake, the 43 vessels previously stuck there continued transit.
The Suez Canal Authority announced it expects the backlog to be cleared in 3.5 days.