The Giant Ship Blocking the Suez Canal Is Finally Freed

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “The Giant Ship Blocking the Suez Canal Is Finally Freed” – below is their description.

    The giant vessel that’s blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was pulled free from the bank, a major step toward getting ships moving again along one of the world’s most important trade arteries.

    The stoppage caused a tailback of hundreds of vessels, snarled supply chains already under pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic and provided a stark reminder of the fragility of the global trade infrastructure.

    Horns sounded in celebration as the Ever Given — a boat longer than the Eiffel Tower — made her way up the canal after a frantic rescue operation involving teams of tugs and dredgers working day and night.

    The container ship was moved from the canal wall around 3 p.m. Egypt time on Monday. It then traveled north from the narrow southern end of the canal, where it ran aground on Tuesday, toward the Great Bitter Lake.

    The Suez Canal Authority said navigation would resume as normal, though it didn’t specify when. There will be enough space for other ships to pass the Ever Given once it gets to the lake.

    It could take around a week to clear the queue of ships waiting around the canal, according to the SCA.

    Salvage teams had struggled to free the vessel, 400 meters long and carrying almost $1 billion of cargo. They tried to use high tides and a full moon to pull it from the sandy bank it smashed into during high winds, in an operation that also involved shoveling 30,000 cubic meters of sand and removing part of the canal wall.

    Egyptian authorities were desperate to get traffic flowing again through the waterway that’s a conduit for about 12% of world trade and about 1 million barrels of oil a day. This has been the canal’s longest closure since it was shut for eight years following the 1967 Six Day War.

    Firms including A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and Hapag-Lloyd AG were forced to reroute their ships via the southern tip of Africa, which can add two weeks on to a journey between Europe and Asia.

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