At the beginning of the month, on July 7th, Egyptian officials released the Ever Given vessel. The Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal around the end of March 2021, and after a tumultuous 106 days of being held by Egyptian officials in the canal’s Great Bitter Lake, it has finally set sail and resumed its journey.
Back in March, the Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal during a sandstorm blowing strong gusts of wind that caused it to veer off course. With the vessel being 400 metres long, and stretches of the canal’s waterways being 300 metres wide, the Ever Given was wedged diagonally across, blocking traffic from both ways.
As one of the world’s most important and busiest trade routes, the suspension of traffic caused massive delays in freight shipping, obstructing the transportation of oil tankers, natural gas, and countless cargo. If the hold-up in the crucial trade channel had been extended by another week, the ramifications would have been catastrophic, and not just for shipping companies.
Ship representatives signed the compensation settlement that allowed for its release. The 400-metre long vessel was loaded with roughly 18,300 containers was accompanied by two tugboats guided by experienced drivers as it made its way through the canal again. Thankfully, the Ever Given itself had suffered no damage and was able to leave smoothly.
Suez Canal Authorities initially demanded more than $900 million in compensation, then later publicly lowered it to $500 million. The money would cover lost transit fees during the 6-day traffic block, costs of stalled traffic, and salvage operation fees.
The involved parties have not revealed the details of the terms and conditions of the settlement they agreed on, but Osama Rabie, Suez Canal Authority’s chairman has expressed that “our agreement is to not have any [further] demands from each other, not from us nor from them.”
Yukito Higaki, a representative for Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, the Japanese owner of Ever Given, reports that he is “pleased that the relationship between our company and the Suez Canal Authority was preserved.”
Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping remarks that “the Ever Given incident shines a light on the importance of shipping to the global supply chain and the vital role that seafarers play in supporting the 14 trillion USD worth of trade each year.”