The Ever Given which ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday 22nd March 2021 has held up the crucial Suez Canal trade route that moves nearly 12% of global trade. On an average 50 cargo vessels pass through this 193KM long canal every day carrying predominantly oil, automotives and other consumables from the middle east to Europe and the US.
This canal that has been made by connecting 3 natural lakes has been a strategic trade route that world powers have fought for control over since it was completed in 1869.
The massive Ever Given which is about a quarter mile long (400 meters) and weighing in at about 200,000 metric tons was push aground by winds upward of 73kmph while it was travelling through the Canal at about 13 knots.
The Evergiven’s sheer size is overwhelming the efforts to dig it out. Multiple diggers and 8 high capacity tug boats and a few dredging vessels have been deployed to ensure the quick movement of the vessel. There are simultaneous movement containers and ballast from the ship to lighten it and enable movement.
This cargo ship is manned by a crew of 25 Indian nationals who are still on board the vessel.
This is the second major crash involving the Ever Given. In 2019, the cargo ship ran into and severely damaged a small ferry moored on the Elbe River in the German port city of Hamburg. Local authorities in Hamburg had blamed strong wind for the collision.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha ltd, the owner of the Ever Given has issued a statement saying, “In co-operation with local authorities and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, a vessel management company, we are trying to refloat [the Ever Given], but we are facing extreme difficulty. We sincerely apologise for causing a great deal of worry to ships in the Suez Canal and those planning to go through the canal,” it added.
The current estimates are that nearly 200 cargo vessels have been stranded on both sides of the Ever Given unable to continue on their course.