Today: Saturday, 18 September 2021 year

Ever Given returning to Suez Canal after six-day blockage in March

Ever Given returning to Suez Canal after six-day blockage in March

Container ship Ever Given is heading back to the Suez Canal where it famously ran aground in March, disrupting global shipping, causing chaos and raising many questions.

On March 23, the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking all other traffic and plunging the global transport net into chaos. As the ship-tracking website MarineTraffic reported today, the Ever Given had left the UK in the first week of August. The ship is set to travel through the Suez Canal, and won’t be carrying a full cargo.

It was extracted six days later after a massive salvage effort by a flotilla of tugboats. The blockage disrupted global shipping and showed that the narrow channel is extremely vulnerable zone.

In March, hundreds of ships waited in place for the canal to be unblocked, while some ships were forced to take the much longer route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip, requiring additional fuel and other costs.

After it was freed, the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel, which carries cargo between Asia and Europe, was ordered by authorities to remain in a holding lake mid-canal, along with most of its crew, as the two sides negotiated a settlement.

The Suez Canal Authority demanded US$916 mln in compensation ($1.2 bn), which was later lowered to US$550 million. The money would cover the salvage operation, costs of stalled canal traffic and lost transit fees for the week the Ever Given blocked the canal.

As 9News has learned, a deal was finally reached and the vessel and its crew freed, though the specifics of that deal have not been released.