Suez Canal says close to clearing backlog after ship dislodged

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 3, 2021

He added that in the past, canal authorities and the ship's owners have had a good relationship. They will include the last 61 ships out of the 422 that were queuing when the Ever Given container vessel was dislodged on Monday, thus ending the backlog of shipping that built up during the crisis, he added.

The tribute comes after the ship wedged itself sideways into a single-lane section of the canal, blocking a major trade route and causing billions in losses.

Litigation could be complex, since the vessel is owned by a Japanese firm, operated by a Taiwanese shipper, and flagged in Panama.

During the day, many giant ships and maritime units are set to cross through the canal as the northern convoy, including the USA aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower said Rabie.

The enormous container ship Ever Given has been freed from a sandy bank in Egypt's Suez Canal after a team of tugboats helped pull its heavy bow from the shore and send it on its way.

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

Rabie also said that if an investigation went smoothly and the compensation amount was agreed on, then the ship could travel on without problems. "God willing, we will reach a billion and a little more [in compensation]", he said in an interview with the Sada Al Balad channel on Wednesday.

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

"It's the country's right", Rabei said, without specifying who would be responsible for paying the compensation.

In the event that the company refuses to do so, he said the matter would turn into a civil court case.

The massive cargo ship is now in one of the canal's holding lakes, where authorities and the ship's managers say an investigation is ongoing. "The ability to salvage these bigger ships has not", said Peter Townsend, a marine insurance industry veteran. "No equipment was readily available", he told Reuters.

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