Suez Canal Reopens As Stranded Ship Refloats

Suez Canal, one of the busiest trade routes, reopens a week after 400m-long-stranded ship ‘Ever Given’ refloats. Officials expect the backlog of ships to clear in around three days.

How Ever Given Was Freed In Suez Canal 

A Dutch specialist team, SMIT, refloated the 200,000-tonne ship. They used Dredgers to dig 30,000 cubic metres and sand from beneath the ends of the vessel. Though they feared some of the ship’s cargo would have to be unloaded to decrease the load, high tides helped the tugs in their work of freeing the ship. After that, the team towed the vessel to the Great Bitter Lake for safety checks. Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement revealed that the vessel is undergoing full inspection. Also, the investigation ruled out the mechanical failures as the cause of the grounding last week. Besides, 25 Indian crew members aboard were in good health.  

What’s Next?

The high tide and the specialist equipment speeded up the rescue operation. While several ships took the alternative week-longer route around Africa’s southern tip, other vessels will reach their destination through the Suez Canal. However, they will have to bear the increased cost of shipping due to the congestion. 

Currently, the authorities are allowing stranded vessels on a first-come, first-serve basis to pass through the canal amid the congestion. 

Cost Of Shipping Rises

According to Leth Agencies, around 367 vessels were in the queue a few hours before the blockage’s clearance. Experts assert that the canal facilitates trade worth USD 10 billion every day. Also, Ever Given’s owner is already facing huge costs of insurance claims and emergency salvage services. Besides, the Egyptian government, which received USD 5.61 billion in revenue from canal tolls in 2020, can also witness losses due to the disruption. 

In all, the Suez Canal blockage has muddled future sailing schedules and will have a considerable impact on global trade. 

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