TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan-chartered mega-ship that was stranded in the Suez Canal has been fully refloated, and traffic has finally resumed in the Suez Canal six days after the international shipping crisis began.
The Panama-flagged Ever Given, chartered by Evergreen Marine Corp. and owned by Japanese firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha, became wedged sideways in the Suez Canal on March 23. Each day that the ship was stuck saw US$9.6 billion in maritime traffic delayed in a waterway that accounts for about 12 percent of world trade.
At 4:30 a.m. Egypt time on Monday (March 29), shipping service provider Inchcape Shipping reported on Twitter that the vessel had been "successfully re-floated" and was "being secured." However, part of the bow was still lodged in sandy clay on the canal bank.
That evening, Evergreen announced it had received notification that the Ever Given had been re-floated at around 3 p.m. Egypt time. With the assistance of tugboats, the mammoth ship has been extricated, and traffic can resume in the canal.
(YouTube FleetMonCom screenshot)
According to Evergreen, the gargantuan vessel will first anchor in the canal's Great Bitter Lake for inspections to verify that it is seaworthy. The subsequent voyage and transport of cargo will be subject to the assessments of the inspection agency.
Evergreen expressed its gratitude to the SCA, ship's crew, rescue team, and engineering staff who stood by their posts. "After six days of hard work, the crisis has finally been resolved, and the freighter has been successfully extricated," wrote Evergreen.
The company stated that it will coordinate with the shipowner to deal with follow-up matters after the owner and other relevant units have completed their investigation report on the incident.
Although Evergreen is the charter, the owner and shipbuilder are Japanese, the captain and crew are Indian, the pilots are Egyptian, the operator is German, the insurer is British, the cargo was made in China, the salvors are Dutch, the ship is Panamanian, and the classification society is American. The vessel is 400 meters in length, 58.8 meters in width, weighs 220,000 tons, and can carry as many as 20,000 containers.
According to global shipping authority Lloyd's List, 425 ships are waiting to pass through the Suez Canal. SCA chairman Osama Rabie was cited by Reuters as saying that it will take about three and a half days to clear the backlog of ships.
Backlog of ships seen in Suez Canal on Monday. (Vesselfinder.com image)
Video posted about half an hour after the ship was refloated.