Massive ship blocking the Suez Canal has been freed

suez canal ever given egypt
Stranded container ship Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, is seen after it ran aground, in Suez Canal, Egypt March 26, 2021

  • After being stuck since Tuesday, the Ever Given has been “partially refloated.”
  • 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.

A massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal has been “partially refloated,” Bloomberg News reported, citing shipping services provider Inchcape. Inchcape said in a tweet the boat is now being “secured.”

The Ever Given had been stuck sideways across Egypt’s canal since Tuesday, clogging a vital artery for the global economy and forcing multiple ships to turn around and reroute through Africa.

After freeing the bow from the banks of the canal, tugboats are now working on straitening the vessel’s course so it can continue moving up the waterway, the Wall Street Journal reported. The ship’s rudder was freed from the sediment on Friday.

“It is good news,” Osama Rabie, 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 has restarted its engines. Two sources also told the outlet that the ship was straightened and will be inspected before being moved.

It’s unclear how soon the canal would be opened up to the hundreds of ships that are stuck waiting for it to clear.

Reuters reported that following news the ship was refloated, crude oil prices fell by $1 per barrel to $63.67.

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 nearly six-day blockage forced some ships to take a costly, dangerous detour thousands of miles around the southern tip of Africa and was reportedly 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.

In a video shared on Twitter, boats could be heard honking after the ship was freed. Another clip appeared to show the ship moving again as the sun was rising.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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