The accidental blockage of the Canal has caused the closure for nearly a week of one of the world’s most important commercial shipping lanes, although it is unclear when it will reopen, firms offering canal and straits logistics services reported.
“Ever Given has been partially refloated in the Suez Canal,” the firm Leth Agencies said as it published a satellite photo of the giant container ship showing that the stern of the vessel had been moved, information also published by the firm Inchcape, which added that the ship “is being secured,” without giving further details.
The MV Ever Given was successfully re-floated at 04:30 lt 29/03/2021. She is being secured at the moment. More information about next steps will follow once they are known. #suezcanel #maritime pic.twitter.com/f3iuYYiRRi
— Inchcape Shipping (@Inchcape_SS) March 29, 2021
For its part, the Suez Canal Authority, announced in a statement posted on its Facebook account that at dawn on Monday “the towing maneuvers to refloat the container ship” had begun with the work of a dozen tugboats operating from four different directions.
Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, explained that six tugs were used in the operations. Two have pulled the bow of the ship to the north, while 4 tugs have pushed the stern to the south.
The incident had caused the collapse of the waterway, generating a worldwide crisis of great dimensions, and it was not until 4.30 a.m. local time that the refloating workers managed to free the ship, trying now to secure the passage and reactivate the activity in the channel.
It is estimated that the blockade has caused the diversion of more than 200 ships and the paralysis of goods worth 9.5 billion euros per day. Many of these shippers have opted to reach Europe via the Cape of New Hope, a route that means an extra week’s journey to European ports, with the consequent increase in costs.