Freight News, Sea

Ever Given afloat again

[ March 29, 2021   //   ]

Evergreen Line says that the Ever Given has been refloated at about 15:00 29 March local time (14.00 UK time). The vessel is leaving the grounding site with assistance of tugboats, in order for the Suez Canal to resume normal operation.

The chartered vessel, which was en route from the Far East to Europe, will be repositioned to the Great Bitter Lake in the Canal for an inspection of its seaworthiness and determine whether the ship can resume its scheduled service.

Evergreen added: “We are most grateful to the Suez Canal Authority and all the concerned parties for their assistance and support through this difficult and unfortunate situation. We would also like to express our deepest appreciation to the crew who remain steadfast in their posts as well as the salvage experts and dredging team for their professionalism and relentless efforts over the past six days toward securing this outcome.”

However, the week-long blockage has led to a tailback of over 360 ships to pass through, while others have already diverted away from the Suez Canal to the longer Cape route, adding about two weeks to voyage times.

Meanwhile, freight market analyst David Kerstens likened the effect of the Suez blockage to the bankruptcy of Korean-owned Hanjin Line n 2016, which led to a 60% surge in container freight rates, and also accelerated freight volume growth from 1% to 8%. (However, at the present time, airfreight capacity is severely restricted because of the Covid crisis.)