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Suez unblocked freeing 357 vessels, Ever Given moved to Bitter Lakes

THE Suez Canal has resumed operations after the 20,388 TEU Ever Given was re-floated aided by the high spring tide allowing salvors to free the entire ship and unblock the waterway after a week of closure

30 March 2021 - 19:00
THE Suez Canal has resumed operations after the 20,388 TEU Ever Given was re-floated aided by the high spring tide allowing salvors to free the entire ship and unblock the waterway after a week of closure.

According to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA, the vessel is to be towed to the Bitter Lakes area for technical inspections, opening up the waterway for the resumption of traffic.



Taiwan's Evergreen Line confirmed in a statement that 'the chartered vessel will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness. The outcome of that inspection will determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service. Once the inspection is finalised, decisions will be made regarding arrangements for cargo currently on board'.



The Taiwanese shipping line also said that it will coordinate with the shipowner to deal with subsequent matters after the shipowner and other concerned parties complete investigation reports into the incident.



However, shippers and forwarders on either side of the canal face weeks of potential supply chain disruption - according to Leth Agencies, there are 357 vessels of all types waiting to transit Suez, and estimates vary as to how long the backlog of vessels could take to clear, reports UK's The Loadstar.



According to a Maersk customer advisory this morning, the line and its 2M partner, MSC, have three vessels stuck in the canal system and another 30 waiting to enter and has rerouted 15 ships round the Cape of Good Hope.



Orient Overseas Container Line said in a statement that seven vessels have been re-directed via the Cape, adding that it will try and minimise delays to cargo delivery.



According to data from SeaIntelligence Consulting, Asia-North Europe vessels routed via the Cape need an extra 14.4 days to complete a round trip, while Asia-Mediterranean vessels take an extra 26.8 days.



'All in all, in order to re-route the cargo around Africa - or through Panama in some cases for the Asia-US east coast - will absorb an amount of carrying capacity, equal to 6 per cent of the globally available capacity - equal to 1.48 million TEU of capacity, the same as 74 ultra-large 20,000 TEU container vessels,' said SeaIntelligence chief executive Alan Murphy.



'It is evident that such an amount of capacity absorption will have a global impact and lead to severe capacity shortages. It will impact all tradelanes, as carriers will seek to cascade vessels to locations where they find they have the greatest need.



'In the short term, it is not possible to build more vessels to solve the problem - the only viable option would be to speed up the vessels. This can partially alleviate the problem, but far from solve it. In this case, increasing speed from 17 to 20 knots would reduce the impact on the global fleet from 6 per cent to 5.2 per cent.



'Going full throttle at 22 knots would still only reduce the impact to 4.8 per cent,' he added.


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