Written by Umut Uras, AL JAZEERA
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has said that the Ever Given container ship, which has been blocking the crucial waterway for nearly a week, was partially refloated and has been turned in the “right direction”.
“The position of the ship has been reorientated 80 percent in the right direction. The stern … moved to 102 metres [35 feet] from the shore,” compared with its position four metres [13.1feet] from the shore previously, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Osama Rabie in a statement.
Monday’s move comes a week after the container ship ran aground in high winds, blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Here are the latest developments on the story:
Ship ‘swings back’ across Suez Canal before next tugging attempt
A giant container ship that was jammed across the Suez Canal and has been partially refloated swung back across channel amid high wind on Monday ahead of the next attempt to fully dislodge it, a Reuters witness and a canal source said.
The source said the ship’s bow was afloat in the water despite its change of position, and that the vessel had not become regrounded.
Global reinsurers stare at massive losses from Suez Canal blockage, Fitch says
The blocking of the Suez Canal by one of the world’s largest container ships is likely to result in losses worth hundreds of millions of euros for the reinsurance industry, Fitch Ratings said, even as rescue teams were successful in partially refloating the vessel on Monday.
The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given got wedged diagonally across the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, blocking the path for hundreds of vessels waiting to transit the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
This event will reduce global reinsurers’ earnings but should not materially affect their credit profiles, while prices for marine reinsurance will rise further, the credit rating agency said.
Challenge still ahead’ to free Suez ship: salvage firm
The head of a Dutch salvage firm helping shift a container ship from the Suez Canal warned that “the challenge is still ahead” despite some success in moving it, as the bow remains stuck.
“The good news is that the stern is free but in our view that was the easier part. The challenge is still ahead, because you really have to slide the ship, with the weight it is carrying,” Boskalis chief executive Peter Berdowski told Dutch public radio.
3.5 days to clear Suez tailback once ship refloated: Egypt canal chief
Once the container ship blocking the Suez Canal is refloated it will take three and a half days to clear a traffic jam of hundreds of vessels, Egyptian authorities.
“The canal will be functioning 24 hours per day immediately after the ship has been refloated,” Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie told Egyptian TV. It will then take “around three and a half days” to clear the backlog, he said.
Sisi says Egyptians succeeded in ending the Suez Canal crisis
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that Egyptians had succeeded in ending the crisis of the container ship stranded in the Suez Canal.
“And by restoring matters to their normal course, with Egyptian hands, the whole world can be assured of the path of its goods and needs that are carried through this navigational artery,” Sisi said on his official social media pages.
Backlogs from Suez stranding could take months to clear, Maersk says
The stranding of Ever Given has created disruptions in the global shipping industry that could take weeks and possibly months to clear, shipping group Maersk said.
“Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant,” the world’s largest container shipping company said in an advisory statement for customers published.
Maersk has three vessels stuck in the canal and another 29 waiting to enter, it said, adding that it had so far rerouted 15 vessels to sail south of Africa instead. “Assessing the current backlog of vessels, it could take six days or more for the complete queue to pass,” it said.
Some 400 ships are waiting to go through Suez Canal
Some 400 ships are waiting to be able to pass the Suez Canal, the head of the Suez Canal Authority said.
Osama Rabie told local media that the Suez Canal will operate for 24 hours after the issue is resolved, without specifying a timeline for it.
War-torn Syria rations fuel amid ongoing closure of Suez Canal
The Syrian government started rationing the distribution of fuel in the country amid concerns that shipments could be delayed because Egypt’s Suez Canal is being blocked by a giant cargo ship that ran aground, according to the oil ministry.
The blockage has held up a ship that was carrying fuel and oil products from Iran, an ally of the Syrian government, the Syrian oil ministry said.
Pending a resolution, “the ministry is rationing the distribution of available oil products” to ensure the continuity of essential services, such as bakeries and hospitals, the ministry statement said.
Asian markets follow Wall St record
Asian markets mostly rose extending last week’s positive finish and tracking a record-breaking lead from Wall Street as investors focus on the economic recovery.
A below forecast reading on US prices on Friday provided support as it eased fears that inflation caused by an expected strong global rebound will force central banks to wind back their ultra-loose monetary policies or hike interest rates.
The week ahead will provide plenty for traders to get their teeth into including the release of key US jobs data for March and figures on manufacturing activity around the world.
At least 369 vessels waiting for Suez to reopen: Suez Canal Authority
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie said.
The vessels included dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, the chairman said.
Completing refloat of Suez Canal ship not easy: Boskalis CEO
News about the partial refloating of the giant container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal is good, but completing the operation would not be a “piece of cake”, Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski told Dutch public radio on Monday.
Boskalis is the parent company of Smit Salvage, which has assisted in efforts to dislodge the ship.
A new tug would arrive and water would be injected under the ship’s bow to help free it, but if those efforts did not work containers might have to be removed, Berdowski said.
Videos appear to show Ever Given’s stern swung towards canal bank
Videos posted on social media appeared to show the stern of the container ship that had been stuck in the Suez Canal swung towards the canal bank, opening space in the channel.
One of the videos showed tug boats moving around the Ever Given container ship and voices could be heard shouting in celebration.
Oil slumps further amid Suez jam
Oil slumped more than 2 percent after news from the Suez Canal that salvage crews have managed to move the giant container ship that has been clogging up the vital global trade passage for nearly a week.
Brent oil was down $1.38, or 2.1 percent, at $63.19 a barrel by 05:11 GMT.
US crude fell 1.48 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $59.49 a barrel.
Stranded ship partially refloated: SCA
The enormous container ship blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal has been partially refloated, the SCA said, raising hopes the busy waterway will soon be reopened.
After further dredging and excavation over the weekend, efforts by rescue workers from the authority and a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage worked to free the ship using tug boats in the early hours of Monday, two marine and shipping sources told the Reuters news agency.
The authority said Ever Given has been straightened in the canal and further tugging operations would resume once the tide rises later on Monday.