Backlog of ships cleared - accident report due this week: SCA
THE line-up of more than 400 of ships that built up around the Suez Canal after the grounding of the Ever Given vessel has been cleared, according to Egyptian authorities, according to media reports
07 April 2021 - 19:05
The final 85 ships passed through the waterway on April 3, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on its Facebook page, adding that the operation demonstrated its ability to manage emergencies, reports Bloomberg.
Overall, 422 vessels passed through since the tanker was freed on March 29, after blocking the canal for almost a week.
The 400-metre-long Ever Given container vessel, owned by Japan's Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, ran aground on March 23 in the southern part of the canal. The waterway handles about 12 per cent of world commerce. Its blockage snarled supply chains already under pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic and provided a stark reminder of the fragility of global trade infrastructure.
The canal normally handles around 50 ships a day but had to increase that figure to 80-90 to clear the backlog.
Most of the vessels waiting were bulk carriers - which transport unpackaged cargo such as grains, coal and iron ore - and container ships, according to Leth Agencies, which provides Suez Canal crossing services. There were around 75 crude-oil and chemical tankers, it said.
The chairman of the SCA, Osama Rabie, said an investigation into what caused the Shoei Kisen Kaisha-owned vessel to run aground is due to wrap up soon. The ship is anchored in the Great Bitter Lake. The authority is expected to publish its findings this week.
Mr Rabie warned last week that Egypt might seek US$1 billion in compensation following the six-day grounding of the giant Evergreen-operated ship. Mr Rabie said the ship and its cargo will not be allowed to leave the country if the issue goes to court.
Shoei Kisen has declared General Average whereby cargo owners will need to contribute funds to get their goods with Richards Hogg Lindley appointed as adjuster. It has been widely reported that Shoei Kisen has employed law firm HFW to file a claim in England's High Court.
Evergreen Marine, the ship's operator, stated in a release it has received a notice from the lawyer representing Shoei Kisen, which specified that the owner had filed an Admiralty limitation claim at the High Court of Justice in the UK in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, in view of the liabilities and compensation that may occur due to the grounding incident. In the appendix of the filing, the owner listed Evergreen Marine and several other potential claimants as defendants and notified them accordingly.
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