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Suez Canal logjam latest: MV Ever Given still stuck, new tug to join efforts to float megaship

Over 300 ships and billions of dollars worth of cargo is currently stalled at either entrances to the Suez Canal.
A general view of the ships waiting south of the Suez Canal due to the grounded Ever Given container ship, which is seen at far left stuck in the canal near Port Tawfiq. (VIA REUTERS)
Published on Mar 29, 2021 08:36 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The giant container ship stranded in the Suez Canal continued to remain wedged diagonally across the waterway for the seventh day on Monday, blocking a vital global trade route. The blockage has impacted businesses across the world in a big way and is costing the global economy billions.

The technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) of MV Ever Given, the vessel stuck on Suez Canal, said that newly arrived specialist tug will join efforts to float the ship, according to news agency Reuters. "Further attempts to re-float the vessel will continue this evening once the tug is safely in position along with the 11 tugs already on site," the BSM statement cited by the agency added.

Here is the latest on the Suez Canal crisis

  1. Due to the blockade, multiple firms are having to choose between waiting or rerouting their vessels around Africa, which adds a huge fuel bill, 9,000 kilometres (5,500 miles), and over a week of travel to the trip between Asia and Europe, news agency AFP reported. It also cited a study published Friday by German insurer Allianz that states that each day of the logjam could be costing global trade some $6-10 billion. That translates to some 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points of annual trade growth each week.
  2. The Lloyd's List posted on Twitter, "Most major container lines are now diverting ships round Cape of Good Hope and warning of supply chain disruption ahead. Some are starting to reject bookings."
  3. Over 300 ships and billions of dollars worth of cargo is currently stalled at either entrances to the Suez Canal. Cargo giant Maersk, as quoted by AFP, said that by the end of the weekend (local time), a total of 32 Maersk and partner vessels would be directly affected by the blockage, with 15 redirected.
  4. As the ship moved slightly from side to side for the first time late Saturday, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie said, "It is a good sign." He added that 14 tugboats were deployed around the vessel and salvage crews were working round the clock, according to AFP.
  5. Salvage teams are pressing efforts to remove sand around the ship, with 27,000 cubic metres (over 950,000 cubic feet) cleared so far at a depth of 18 metres, SCA spokesman George Safwat said Sunday.
  6. Rabie told AFP that Egypt is losing close to $12-14 million in revenue from the canal for each day it is closed, while Lloyd's List has said the blockage is holding up an estimated $9.6 billion-worth of cargo each day between Asia and Europe.
  7. The SCA chief was quoted by Reuters as saying that shippers affected by the blockage may be offered discounts and that he believed investigations would show the canal was not responsible for grounding the giant vessel.
  8. On Monday, oil edges lower as hundreds of other container ships, bulk carriers, and oil-laden tankers are backed up at both ends of the canal, Reuters reported.

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