EGYPT: In a huge relief the giant container ship, Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal has been at least partially refloated.
The massive container ship was successfully refloated at about 4:30 a.m local time in Egypt and the vessel is currently being secured.
There was no immediate clarity on the crucial question of when traffic in the canal will restart and how soon it will be able to clear the way for other vessels to pass.
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Cause of Traffic
On Tuesday morning, the 400 meter long, 200,000-tonne vessel ran aground owing to high winds and a sandstorm that caused distorted vision.
The Suez canal blockage caused a ‘traffic jam’ in the Red Sea.
Tugboats and dredgers were used in the attempt to dislodge the giant ship, Ever Given, which is wedged diagonally across the waterway. Massive machinery and diggers were also operational on the banks.
Joe Reynolds, the chief Engineer of the Maersk Ohio, said that the number of vessels waiting at the canal’s southern entrance was rapidly growing and that the shipping schedules around the world were being affected.
At last count, 450 vessels were stacked up at the waterway. However, once the Ever Given is cleared, authorities will allow traffic to resume through the canal that is a gateway for about 12% of world trade.
The canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides the shortest link between Asia and Europe.
The Chief Executive of SeaIntelligence Consulting in Copenhagen said that the dominoes have been toppled and the delays and re-routing which have already happened will cause ripple effects on both vessels and empty equipment which will be felt for many months.
Companies from Ikea to Caterpillar Inc. have been impacted by the blockage and thousands of live animals are stuck on ships in the area. goods, commodities from oil to coffee, and industrial inputs are caught up in the jam, with Asian exporters and European importers affected most directly.
In other news, the investigation into what went wrong as the Ever Given tried to navigate the narrow waterway continues, as well as the untangling of liabilities and insurance claims.