Ship’s owner to handle Suez Canal blockage “in line with int’l law”

Mar 31 , 2021. 11 hours ago – 22:39 KYODO NEWS

Photo taken in the Suez Canal in northeastern Egypt on March 29, 2021, shows the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, refloated after it had blocked the channel for almost a week, enabling the resumption of traffic in the crucial international waterway. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

ISMAILIA , Egyt – The Japanese company which owns a massive container ship that had blocked the Suez Canal said Tuesday it will handle the incident “in accordance with international law,” a day after the vessel was dislodged and traffic in the vital international waterway resumed after nearly a week.

Asked about possible compensation payouts involving the Panama-flagged ship, an official of ship-leasing company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. told Kyodo News, “We cannot comment on the matter as we have not heard anything in detail yet.”

The blockage of the Suez Canal by the 220,000-ton container ship Ever Given cost Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority between $12 million to $15 million daily, its head Osama Rabie said Tuesday as attention turns to compensation.

An investigation has started into why the 400-meter-long Japanese-owned vessel, which was dislodged

Monday and now rests in a nearby lake, became stuck.

Rabie told reporters the Panama-flagged ship could have become wedged in the canal on March 23 due to a technical problem or human error besides inclement weather.

In a press release, Shoei Kisen said it will aim to put the ship, operated by Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., back on course as soon as possible.

The Suez Canal Authority has said it will take three or four days for ship traffic to return to normal after resumption, with 422 vessels forced to wait in the canal and nearby waters.

The effort had involved dredging efforts and refloating the boat at high tide with the help of a Dutch company.

The traffic jam has caused hundreds of ships to wait to enter or complete their journey through the canal connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, while forcing others to reroute.

A Suez Canal blockage costs $400 million per hour in delayed goods, according to an estimate by shipping information company Lloyd’s List.

The ship was on its way to Rotterdam in the Netherlands from China.

Cr. KYODO NEWS