- After six days being stuck, the Ever Given was refloated on Monday.
- The massive cargo vessel caused a blockage in the Suez Canal, straining global trade.
- It’s still not known when the canal will be open the hundreds of ships waiting to enter.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal was refloated on Monday.
The Ever Given had been stuck diagonally across the canal since Tuesday, clogging a vital artery for the global economy and prompting some ships to turn around and reroute around Africa’s southern tip.
The vessel’s stern was moved 334 feet away from the bank, according to a Monday statement from the Suez Canal Authority.
-Mohammed Soliman (@ThisIsSoliman) March 29, 2021
With the bow freed from the banks of the canal, tugboats then began working on straightening the vessel’s course so it could continue moving up the waterway, The Wall Street Journal reported early on Monday.
The ship’s rudder was freed from the sediment on Friday.
“It is good news,” Osama Rabie, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, told The Journal. “We are not finished yet, but it has moved.”
A shipping source told Reuters that the ship had restarted its engines. Two sources also told the outlet that the ship was straightened and would be inspected before being moved.
Bloomberg reported that more than 450 vessels were in line to use the canal once it reopened. It is not clear when the channel will be passable for other ships.
Mohab Mamish, the Egyptian president’s advisor for the canal authority, told Bloomberg it would take about a week to clear the backlog once the canal was navigable again.
The impact on supply chains is expected to last several months, however, according to Lloyd’s List.
“For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase and the blockage triggers a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take months to unravel, even after the canal is reopened,” the journal quoted the Danish shipping company Maersk as saying.
-Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 29, 2021
Reuters reported that crude oil prices fell by $1 a barrel to $63.67 on news of the refloating.
The 1,300-foot-long cargo ship, one of the world’s largest, became wedged in the Suez Canal early Tuesday morning. Egyptian officials initially blamed the weather, including strong winds and a dust storm. But on Saturday, officials said the logjam could be the result of “technical or human errors.”
The blockage prompted some ships to take a costly, dangerous detour thousands of miles around the southern tip of Africa and was said to be costing the global economy $400 million an hour in delayed goods.
The Ever Given is operated by the Taiwan-based shipping company Evergreen Group.
Tugboats and dredgers had been working to free the ship for days with little success.