Suez Canal suspends traffic as ship stuck like 'beached whale'

Ship blocking Suez Canal prompts flood of memes

Container ships faced longer waiting and discharging times at West Coast ports than elsewhere in the United States and around the world, analysis from logistics platform project44 showed. If the obstruction is not resolved soon, the company could be held liable for lost revenue by the Suez Canal Authority, as well as for damages incurred by other ships.

The suspension of traffic through the Suez Canal has deepened problems for shipping lines that were already facing disruption and delays in supplying retail goods to consumers, shipping sources said. "You have shortages of vessel capacity, shortages of empty containers", he said.

The Ever Green is now being operated by a Taiwanese transport company called Evergreen Marine, based in Panama.

The Ever Given may have turned into an unlikely wellspring for internet memes, but the incident could prove to be a disaster for an already stretched system of global supply, with at least 150 ships now reportedly waiting on either side of the "beached whale".

Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it was doing all it could to refloat the MV Ever Given, a 400-metre (1,300-foot) long and 200,000 tonne vessel which veered off course and ran aground in a sandstorm on Tuesday. The SCA also says it works on removing sand blocking the ship from moving through four diggers.

"We can't exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation", Reuters reported Berdowski as saying. It usually carries cargo between Asia and Europe.

On its website, the Japanese firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha wrote "We sincerely apologize for causing a great deal of concern to the vessels scheduled to sail and their related parties while navigating the Suez Canal due to the accident of this vessel". If you've been following the Ever Given's plight and the determined efforts of those working to free it, you now know about things like "suction dredgers", which might be useful for a laugh.

Two pilots from Egypt's canal organization were on the ship to guide it when it struck land early Tuesday morning, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said.

"Initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding", the company said.

Oil prices had jumped by nearly six percent on Wednesday in response to the Suez Canal accident, before dropping again on Thursday.

The Suez Canal Authority said one idea the team discussed was scraping the bottom of the canal around the ship.

While sailing the Northern Sea Route cuts about 40% of the distance between China and European ports compared with taking the Suez Canal, traffic along the Arctic route is not yet competitive with the Suez Canal or even sailing around Africa, The Barents Observer wrote Thursday.

The British publication Lloyd's List estimates each day that the Suez Canal is closed effects over $9 billion worth of trade that should be passing through it. "That's the disconnect and that's going to take between six and 12 months".

Canal traffic has been disrupted several times in the past, notably during the Arab-Israeli wars of the second half of the 20th century.