Suez Canal: Owner of cargo ship blocking waterway apologises

Ever Given

On Wednesday they rebounded after news that the canal, a key waterway for global trade, was being blocked by a container ship that has run aground and is delaying ship movement.

The Suez Canal Authority says about 50 ships a day pass through the 193-kilometer manmade waterway, including oil tankers.

The suspension of traffic through the Suez Canal has deepened problems for shipping lines that were already facing disruption and delays in supplying retail goods to consumers, shipping sources said. While ships can take an alternative route around the southern tip of Africa, as they did in the days before the canal, it's not clear that doing so would be any faster than waiting for the jam to clear. The Japanese Shipowners Association says 1,374 vessels affiliated with the group passed through the canal in 2019, roughly 7% of the total.

Workers are seen next to the bow of the huge container ship, lodged firmly in the bank of the Suez Canal.

Russian Federation has proposed its strategic Arctic shipping route as an alternative to the Suez Canal after a 400-meter cargo ship got stuck in the canal, blocking one of the world's key shipping routes and sparking fears of a rise in oil prices.

The worldwide expert added that the process of floating the ship is not easy, and that the tide will add 46 centimetres of depth, which will allow more room for moving Ever Given.

At 400 metres long and 59 metres wide, the Ever Given is twice the size of Egypt's Cairo tower, and just under half the size of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

On Thursday, the British government said it was on hand to help free the ship. Mitsubishi Motors ships around 150,000 vehicles made in Asia to Europe each year.

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Berdowski said another strategy would be removing water and oil from the ship to reduce weight and, possibly, offload containers.

The ship's Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, said it apologizes "for causing a great deal of concern to the vessels scheduled to sail ... and all parties affected by this accident".

"Initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding, " the management company Leth Agencies said.

Oil prices had jumped by nearly six percent on Wednesday in response to the Suez Canal accident, before dropping again on Thursday.

The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement Thursday that it had officially suspended traffic while efforts to dislodge the 1,300-foot Ever Given continued.

The British publication Lloyd's List estimates each day that the Suez Canal is closed effects over $9 billion worth of trade that should be passing through it.

"And then you have Mr. Magoo captaining that ship through the Suez Canal, that's going to throw another wrench into things and so that's going to take some time to", he went on.

At times, China has been exporting three containers for each one imported as firms seized market share from rivals in hard-hit countries overseas.

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