File footage shows Evergreen ship on Suez Canal
A renewed effort to free the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal was underway on Saturday night, as the queue of waiting vessels rose to 321.
More than a dozen tugs joined the operation to refloat the Ever Given to coincide with high tide at around 10pm local time.
It came after rescuers said they had “some positive results”, with as much as 17m of movement on Friday.
Meanwhile, Suez Canal authorities have conceded that technical or human error could have contributed to the mega-ship becoming stuck.
The incident could “create constraints in our supply chain”, the Swedish furniture company told CNN.
More than 100 IKEA containers are reportedly queuing behind the MV Ever Given on the waterway and in surrounding areas.
Heavy tugboats have resumed trying to move the Ever Given as of this afternoon. Other options, such as using a crane to remove some of the ship’s cargo, are also being considered.
Renewed attempt to free Ever Given tonight
The Ever Given’s technical manager has said that another attempt to free the vessel will be made at around midnight local time (10pm GMT).
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which claims to manage a fleet of 400 vessels, said “significant progress” was made late Friday at the ship’s stern where its rudder was released from sediment.
Some 9,000 tons of ballast water have been removed from the vessel in an attempt to help refloat it.
The head of the Dutch salvage firm that is attempting to refloat the vessel with tugboats and dredgers at high tide said that it could be freed early next week.
However the head of the Suez Canal Authority said earlier today he could not predict when the vessel would be freed, telling reporters: “I can’t say because I do not know.”
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 21:43
Social media users have inevitably turned the Suez Canal crisis into a wide range of memes. Here are 29 of the best, courtesy of Indy100.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 21:16
What would Donald Trump say?
This mocked-up tweet imagines what Donald Trump would have said in response to the Suez Canal crisis.
“JUST RAM IT WITH ANOTHER BOAT!” does sound like something he might have suggested if he was still president.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 20:27
Renewed hopes of refloating jammed cargo ship
The Ever Given has moved as much as 30m as a result of efforts to refloat the ship last night and today, according to reports.
It has raised hopes that the high tide tonight (around 10.30pm local time, 8.30pm GMT) will finally help shift the vessel free.
Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie told reporters earlier today: “The ship’s stern began to move towards Suez, and that was a positive sign until 11pm (2100 GMT last night), but the tide fell significantly and we stopped.
“We expect that at any time the ship could slide and move from the spot it is in.
“When dealing with a ship of this size, its behaviour with the dredgers is unknown, we don’t know how it will respond to the pulling.”
Dredgers removed some 20,000 tonnes of sand from around its bow by Friday, freeing the rudder and propeller, though more work may be needed to free the vessel.
Two SCA sources said there had been further, minor progress in dislodging the ship on Saturday. One source said there had been some movement at the bow of the ship.
A Dutch firm working to free the vessel said it could be freed by the start of next week.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 19:56
Suez blockage ‘could lead to higher prices’
Shoppers could face months of higher prices because of the Suez Canal blockage, according to experts.
Lars Jensen, chief executive of Sea-Intelligence Consulting, told the Daily Mirror that the delay would cause a “ripple effect” with increased freight costs and freight times.
He said: “Even if the canal was to open tomorrow it would cause months of shipping delays.
“This is majorly important for companies and retailers. At some point it will reopen, and when that happens it will be like ketchup out of a bottle.
“Normally Europe receives around 50,000 containers a day as ports can largely handle that flow. Suddenly there will be a huge chunk of cargo at once, resulting in ports congesting. Ports won’t be able to handle this. Once you get all the cargo off the ships transporting them on trucks and rail is going to be a problem.
“The longer it takes to clear the blockage, the worse this gets.”
The goods stuck in the logjam include furniture, clothing, car parts, construction materials and livestock.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 19:24
High tide offers best chance of moving Ever Given tonight
The next two hours will offer the best opportunity to free the Ever Given tonight, according to the head of the Suez Canal Authority.
Tides will be at the highest at around 10pm local time (8pm UK time) and the strong wind could help the ship move towards the northeast, SCA chief Osama Rabei told local media.
The ship has already moved 30 meters towards the north, according to Egypt Today. Last night the propeller and rudder were freed by a salvage team.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 18:51
Diverting ships around Africa ‘could add 26 days to journey’
Some vessels have been diverted around the southern tip of Africa to avoid the blocked Suez Canal, according to satellite data.
They include the Ever Greet, sister ship of the Ever Given cargo ship which caused the traffic jam by getting stuck sideways in the waterway, and several liquid natural gas carriers.
However a diversion around the Cape of Good Hope instead of passing through the canal can add 26 days to a journey from Cairo to Rotterdam, data firm Refinitiv said.
Taking into account the price of extra fuel used for the journey, this could add £580,000 to the cost of the journey.
Some 19,000 vessels passed through the canal last year, according to official figures, a rate of around 50 a day.
About 10 per cent of world trade flows through the canal.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 18:34
More than 320 vessels in Suez traffic jam
A total of 321 ships are now waiting in the Ever Given traffic jam, according to the Suez Canal Authority.
The vessels are being held at both ends of the waterway and in the Great Bitter Lake.
Once the Ever Given is refloated, officials expect the backlog to clear in one to two days.
A total of 14 tugs are working on freeing the massive cargo ship, which became stuck sideways in the Suez Canal on Tuesday.
Peter Stubley27 March 2021 18:05
Caterpillar Inc. among companies hit by shipping delays
Caterpillar Inc., the US’s largest machinery producer, is among the companies facing shipment delays because of the Suez blockage, Bloomberg has reported.
The company is reportedly considering airlifting products as it contends with delivery delays of up to three weeks.
Caterpillar Inc. is known for producing machinery like cranes and diggers, but also iconic ‘CAT’-branded work boots.
Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 16:57
NSFW products among those held up by Suez blockage
Among the cargo unable to reach its destination because of the Suez blockage are 20 containers filled with erotic toys, according to Dutch news outlet RTVNoord.
The products, which were on their way to Belgium and the Netherlands, are made by EDC Retail. The firm’s CEO, Evertine Magerman, described the hold-up as “annoying”.
Read more from Greg Evans:
Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 16:50