Traffic jam clears in Suez Canal days after container ship dislodged

Apr 3, 2021 – 23:02 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

CAIRO – The traffic jam that caused hundreds of ships to wait to enter or complete their journey through the Suez Canal finally ended Saturday, days after a massive container ship that had blocked the vital international waterway was dislodged.

Osama Rabie, head of Suez Canal Authority, said the same day that all 422 ships stranded in the canal and nearby waters had passed through the waterway, one of the world’s heaviest shipping lanes, after the 400-meter-long 220,000-ton Ever Given became wedged in it in late March.

The Panama-flagged vessel, owned by Japanese ship-leasing company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. and operated by Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., became wedged on March 23, causing disruption in global traffic, before it was finally freed six days later.

The authority has said it will take three or four days for ship traffic to return to normal after resumption.

An investigation has started into why the vessel became stuck in the canal connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, with attention now shifting to compensation. The blockage cost the authority between $12 million to $15 million daily, Rabie has said

The blockage had also forced other vessels to reroute.

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

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

Cr. KYODO NEWS