Suez Canal: Blocked ship could be refloated in hours

Megaship blocking Suez Canal may be refloated Saturday owner

The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football fields, has been wedged diagonally across the entire canal since Tuesday, shutting the waterway in both directions.

Meanwhile Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the ship's technical manager, said on Friday that an attempt to refloat the vessel had failed.

A team from Boskalis, a Dutch firm specializing in salvaging, was working with the canal authority using tugboats and a specialized suction dredger at the port side of the cargo ship's bow.

Smit Salvage, which has worked on some of the most famous wrecks of recent years, confirmed that "two additional tugs" would arrive by Sunday to assist.

There had been "no reports of pollution or cargo damage and initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding".

While rerouting ships around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal can be costly, Gold predicts that "more times than not the retailer is going to absorb those additional costs, as opposed to pass them along to the consumer".

Evergreen, the company that leases the Ever Given ship, appears to have already diverted course on several of its ships in the previous days to take the long Africa-based route, despite the extra costs.

The 400m-long (1,300ft), 200,000-tonne vessel ran aground on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.

Aframax and Suezmax rates in the Mediterranean have also reacted as the market starts to price in fewer vessels being available in the region, shipbroker Braemar ACM Shipbroking said.

Having been stranded in a single-lane stretch of the canal, Ever Given's accident, which was blamed by officials on weather conditions and strong winds, brought traffic to a virtual standstill in the vital artery that provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe.

"Rough calculations suggest westbound traffic is worth around US$5.1 billion daily while eastbound traffic is worth US$4.5 billion". The canal accounts for roughly 12% of the world's seaborne trade, which should give you an idea of how much global trade is at a standstill right now because of one ship in an unfortunate position.

Egypt's efforts to pull the huge ship using nine tugboats yielded little progress in the past few days.

Plamen Natzkoff, an expert at VesselsValue, said teams would likely throw even more resources behind their efforts in the coming days to make the most of that opportunity.

But, he added, "the stakes are too high for it to take months". He also assured that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is closely following up on the situation of the aground vessel. Turkey also said it can send a vessel to the canal, amid a push by Ankara to fix ties with Egypt after years of animosity.

Blockage of the Suez Canal since March 23, 2021, is seriously hitting the global trade, the commerce ministry said.

But they tumbled on Thursday, at one point completely wiping out the gains. However, retail analysts warned that a prolonged blockage of the Suez in Egypt could drive up the price of goods.

The result has been chaos, with dozens of ships backed up and analysts warning of a severe impact on global trade if the vessel can not be dislodged. Weidinger said due to waste build up the animals cannot lie down, nor can the crew get rid of the bodies of the dead animals. "It's basically a ticking biohazard timebomb for animals and the crew and any person involved", Peter Stevenson, chief policy officer at Compassion in World Farming, told Bloomberg.

Related:

Comments


Other news