Egyptian authorities are still working to free the huge container ship Ever Given that is blocking the Suez Canal, but were reluctant, Saturday March 27, to propose a precise timetable for when they would get there, reports the Wall Street Journal .
Those involved in the operation had earlier reported that the ship could be moved as early as Saturday. The day before, the ship’s rudder and propeller had been restarted. “Some 320 ships are waiting to cross the canal”.
An attempt to refloat the Ever Given , the 400-meter-long container ship stuck for four days across the canal , failed on Friday, said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), a Singapore- based company providing technical management. of the ship.
The Dutch company Smit Salvage commissioned for the “rescue” of Ever Given was cautious, citing “days or even weeks” for the resumption of traffic on the canal which sees pass nearly 10% of international maritime trade, according to experts. “Two additional 220-240 ton tugs” will arrive by March 28 to help refloat the vessel, BSM said.
While strong winds combined with a sandstorm were first blamed for the incident, the head of the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Ossama Rabie said on Saturday that the weather conditions did not were not the only reason for the grounding. “Other errors, human or technical, could also come into play,” he said at a press conference in Suez.
However, the overall costs are high in the maritime transport of goods in containers. According to Lloyd’s List , the stranded container ship is blocking the equivalent of about $ 9.6 billion (€ 8.1 billion) in cargo every day.
Since Wednesday March 24, the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has been trying to free the vessel weighing more than 220,000 tonnes. “Tugs and dredges are used to break rocks,” an official from the Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, owner of the boat , told Agence France-Press.
According to a report by insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty on maritime safety, “the Suez Canal has an excellent overall safety record with shipping incidents being extremely rare – in total, 75 shipping incidents were reported in the last decade”.
According to the British journalist Rose George, author of a book on maritime transport, the latter “still brings us 90% of everything […] and we are fundamentally dependent on it”.