Stranded ship in Suez Canal refloated: Live news

The enormous container ship blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal has been fully floated, authorities say, cautioning that it could take several days to clear the traffic jams at both sides of the canal.

The Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, is seen after it was fully floated in the Suez Canal in Egypt on March 29, 2021 [Suez Canal Authority/Handout/Reuters]

The giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was fully floated on Monday and traffic in the waterway resumed.

According to witnesses, the Ever Given ship was moving and a shipping tracker and Egyptian TV showed it positioned in the centre of the canal.

Helped by the peak of high tide, a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bulbous bow of the skyscraper-sized vessel from the canal’s sandy bank.

Earlier in the day, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said the Ever Given container ship was partially refloated and turned in the “right direction”.

The news comes a week after the ship ran aground in strong winds, blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Some 400 ships, including oil tankers and vessels, carrying goods to consumers had been stuck in the canal, leaving them with millions in expenses.

INTERACTIVE_Suez canal blockade-02

Here are the latest developments:

Backlog of ships could be cleared in up to 3.5 days: Canal chairman

A backlog of shipping around the Suez Canal could be cleared in three or three-and-a-half days, the canal authority’s chairman has said.

Chairman Osama Rabie told a news conference that 113 ships were expected to transit the canal in both directions by 8am local time (06:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

‘Clients very concerned’: Freight service

Freight service operators say their clients are worried their items will not be delivered on time despite the Ever Given container ship now being fully operational.

“We’ve got 20 containers on board and the cargo ranging from vinyl flooring to foodstuffs and pump parts,” Steve Parks of Seaports Freight Services told Al Jazeera via Skype.

“Our clients are very concerned that they are not going to get their stuff in time … I really can’t see her [Ever Given] arriving for at least seven or 14 days,” he added.

A man waves an Egyptian flag as the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, is seen after it was fully floated in Suez Canal [Suez Canal Authority/Handout/Reuters]

Price of oil rise after ship refloated

Oil also rebounded after the Ever Given container ship that has blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week was refloated and traffic in the waterway resumed.

Brent crude futures rose 41 cents to settle at $64.98 a barrel, while US crude futures settled up 59 cents to $61.56 a barrel.

Suez Canal needs to be more ‘robust’: Maritime expert

Experts are calling into question the robustness of the Suez Canal, saying the accident was “waiting to happen”.

“I think what’s happened is that container carriers have got larger quite rapidly,” Michael Bell, professor of ports and maritime Logistics at Sydney Business School, told Al Jazeera.

“This particular accident was really waiting to happen. There will be a lot of head-scratching and thinking not only about making supply chains more resilient, but I’m sure the Suez Canal authorities having a good healthy discussion as well about how to make the canal itself, robust.”


Suez chaos leaves shipping companies with millions in expenses

The owners and charterers of ships unable to sail through the Suez Canal for nearly a week face at least $24m in expenses they will be unable to recoup as their insurance policies do not cover them, industry sources say.

Up to 400 ships, which include oil tankers and vessels carrying goods to consumers that had been stuck.

According to Reuters news agency, shipping sources said daily expenses were estimated to reach between $10,000 and $15,000 a day for each vessel and it would have to be written off. This includes oil tankers.

Oman port says ready to help shipping operators affected by Suez crisis

Suez Canal could see traffic resuming on Tuesday

An expert in maritime salvage said the Suez Canal could see north-bound traffic resuming as early as Tuesday after a container ship that had blocked the waterway for nearly a week came free.

Captain Nick Sloane, a maritime salvage expert who is vice president of the International Salvage Union and who led the high-profile effort to salvage the shipwrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012, said the Ever Given and the canal’s banks and seabed will need to be inspected thoroughly.

But if the deep part of the canal looks to be in good shape, he said traffic could resume as early as Tuesday morning.

The giant vessel headed towards the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, where it will be inspected, said Evergreen Marine Corp., a Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship [Suez Canal Authority/Handout/Reuters]

US maritime expert commends Suez salvage effort

A US maritime expert said the salvage team did an “excellent job” freeing the trapped container ship, as there was a real risk of cracking in the centre of the vessel.

Captain John Konrad, CEO of shipping website, told The Associated Press news agency it was “a great team of salvors that made it work, made the impossible work”.

“We were in a real critical situation when it was touching on both banks and there was real risk of cracking in the centre of the ship,” he said.

“But the game entirely changed once they got that stern free and were able to pivot it, pivot it back parallel to the canal.”

Joy, celebrations as Ever Given refloated

The opening of the Suez Canal to traffic has sparked relief, with tugboat crews sounding their foghorns in celebration.

The Suez Canal Authority has cautioned, however, that it will take more than three days to clear the traffic jams of ships that were stuck at the northern and southern ends of the canal.

World oil prices eased on the news of the reopening of the waterway that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and through which more than 10 percent of world trade happens [Suez Canal Authority/Handout/Reuters]

More than 400 ships waiting to pass through Suez Canal: Local media

More than 400 ships were waiting to pass through the Suez Canal as the container ship that had been blocking the waterway was refloated, Egypt’s Nile TV reported.

Ship to be inspected for seaworthiness after refloat

Evergreen Line said the Ever Given container ship would be inspected for seaworthiness after being dislodged from a southern section of the Suez Canal where it had been blocking traffic for nearly a week.

The freed vessel travelled north to the Great Bitter Lake, through which the canal passes, “for an inspection of its seaworthiness”, said the Taiwanese company Evergreen which operates the ship.

“The outcome of that inspection will determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service.”

Suez Canal says traffic in channel resumes after stranded ship refloated

The giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was fully floated on Monday and traffic in the waterway would resume, the canal authority said in a statement.

A shipping tracker and Egyptian TV showed it positioned in the centre of the canal.

“Admiral Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, has announced the resumption of shipping traffic in the Suez Canal,” the SCA said in a statement, shortly after shipping sites showed the vessel had once more diagonally blocked the waterway.

Hi. This is Usaid Siddiqui in Toronto, Canada taking over from my colleague Umut Uras.

Copper slides amid Suez Canal jam

Copper prices slipped as worries about higher freight costs receded after salvage crews managed to move a container ship blocking the Suez Canal and a higher dollar reinforced negative sentiment.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange traded down 0.3 percent to $8,937 a tonne in official rings. Prices are down seven percent since hitting 9-1/2-year highs of $9,617 last month.

Global reinsurers stare at huge losses from Suez Canal blockage, Fitch says

The blocking of the Suez Canal by one of the world’s largest container ships is likely to result in losses worth hundreds of millions of euros for the reinsurance industry, Fitch Ratings said, even as rescue teams were successful in partially refloating the vessel on Monday.

The 400-metre (1,312-foot) long Ever Given got wedged diagonally across the canal in strong winds early last Tuesday, blocking the path for hundreds of vessels waiting to transit the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

This event will reduce global reinsurers’ earnings but should not materially affect their credit profiles, while prices for marine reinsurance will rise further, the credit rating agency said.

Challenge still ahead’ to free Suez ship: salvage firm

The head of a Dutch salvage firm helping shift a container ship from the Suez Canal warned that “the challenge is still ahead” despite some success in moving it, as the bow remains stuck.

“The good news is that the stern is free but in our view that was the easier part. The challenge is still ahead, because you really have to slide the ship, with the weight it is carrying,” Boskalis chief executive Peter Berdowski told Dutch public radio.

3.5 days to clear Suez tailback once ship refloated: Egypt canal chief

Once the container ship blocking the Suez Canal is refloated it will take three and a half days to clear a traffic jam of hundreds of vessels, Egyptian authorities.

“The canal will be functioning 24 hours per day immediately after the ship has been refloated,” Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV. It will then take “around three and a half days” to clear the backlog, he said.

Ships are anchored at the entrance of the Suez Canal [Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]

El-Sisi says Egyptians succeeded in ending the Suez Canal crisis

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that Egyptians had succeeded in ending the crisis of the container ship stranded in the Suez Canal.

“And by restoring matters to their normal course, with Egyptian hands, the whole world can be assured of the path of its goods and needs that are carried through this navigational artery,” Sisi said on his official social media pages.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Egypt”s President Sisi shared his statement through his social media accounts [File: Reuters]

Backlogs from Suez stranding could take months to clear, Maersk says

The stranding of Ever Given has created disruptions in the global shipping industry that could take weeks and possibly months to clear, shipping group Maersk said.

“Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant,” the world’s largest container shipping company said in an advisory statement for its customers.

Maersk has three vessels stuck in the canal and another 29 waiting to enter, it said, adding that it had so far rerouted 15 vessels to sail south of Africa instead. “Assessing the current backlog of vessels, it could take six days or more for the complete queue to pass,” it said.

Maersk has three vessels stuck in the canal and another 29 waiting to enter [Reuters]

Some 400 ships are waiting to go through Suez Canal

Some 400 ships are waiting to be able to pass the Suez Canal, the head of the Suez Canal Authority said.

Osama Rabie told local media that the Suez Canal will operate for 24 hours after the issue is resolved, without specifying a timeline for it.

War-torn Syria rations fuel amid ongoing closure of Suez Canal

The Syrian government started rationing the distribution of fuel in the country amid concerns that shipments could be delayed because Egypt’s Suez Canal is being blocked by a giant cargo ship that ran aground, according to the oil ministry.

The blockage has held up a ship that was carrying fuel and oil products from Iran, an ally of the Syrian government, the Syrian oil ministry said.

Pending a resolution, “the ministry is rationing the distribution of available oil products” to ensure the continuity of essential services, such as bakeries and hospitals, the ministry statement said.

At least 369 vessels waiting for Suez to reopen: Suez Canal Authority

At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie said.

The vessels included dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, the chairman said.

A view shows the stranded container ship Ever Given [Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]

Completing refloat of Suez Canal ship not easy: Boskalis CEO

News about the partial refloating of the giant container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal is good, but completing the operation would not be a “piece of cake”, Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski told Dutch public radio on Monday.

Boskalis is the parent company of Smit Salvage, which has assisted in efforts to dislodge the ship.

A new tug would arrive and water would be injected under the ship’s bow to help free it, but if those efforts did not work containers might have to be removed, Berdowski said.

Videos appear to show Ever Given’s stern swung towards canal bank

Videos posted on social media appeared to show the stern of the container ship that had been stuck in the Suez Canal swung towards the canal bank, opening space in the channel.

One of the videos showed tug boats moving around the Ever Given container ship and voices could be heard shouting in celebration.

Oil slumps further amid Suez jam

Oil slumped more than 2 percent after news from the Suez Canal that salvage crews have managed to move the giant container ship that has been clogging up the vital global trade passage for nearly a week.

Brent oil was down $1.38, or 2.1 percent, at $63.19 a barrel by 05:11 GMT.

US crude fell 1.48 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $59.49 a barrel.

A handout photograph made available by the Suez Canal Authority shows tugboats neat the Ever Given container ship [File: Reuters]

Stranded ship partially refloated: SCA

The enormous container ship blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal has been partially refloated, the Suez Canal Authority said, raising hopes the busy waterway will soon be reopened.

After further dredging and excavation over the weekend, efforts by rescue workers from the authority and a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage worked to free the ship using tug boats in the early hours of Monday, two marine and shipping sources told the Reuters news agency.

The authority said Ever Given has been straightened in the canal and further tugging operations would resume once the tide rises later on Monday.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies