A display shows the container ship Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, after being partially refloated, in the Suez Canal, Egypt, on March 29, 2021.
Suez Canal Authority | Reuters
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The Ever Given, the massive container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal and cut off traffic on the vital waterway for nearly a week, has been refloated, authorities said Monday.
The ship is currently en route to Great Bitter Lake, according to Leth Agencies, a transit agent on the Suez Canal. Once there, it will undergo a technical inspection.
Earlier on Monday, the Suez Canal Authority said the ship had “responded to the tow and tow maneuvers” and corrected its course by 80%.
The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. The 220,000-ton ship can carry 20,000 containers, and over 1,300 feet is almost as long as the Empire State Building.
The ship, which ran aground last Tuesday, further disrupted a global supply chain already under pressure from the ongoing effects of Covid-19.
About 12% of world trade passes through the Suez Canal. Lloyd’s List estimates that more than $ 9 billion in goods pass through the 120-mile waterway every day, which translates to about $ 400 million per hour.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the ship’s technical manager, said last week that the Ever Given ran aground due to high winds. Last weekend, Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said human or technical errors may have played a role in the ship’s deviation.
Expert salvage teams were called in to assist with the re-float operation. There were more than 10 tugs on site, as well as specialized dredging equipment. More than 20,000 tons of sand and mud have been removed during the dredging operation.
High water also contributed to Monday’s successful takeoff attempt.
“Today, the Egyptians have managed to end the Suez Canal backlog crisis, despite the tremendous technical complexity surrounding this process from all sides,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in a tweet on Monday.
Because the ship floats, traffic in the Suez Canal can get going again. According to the Suez Canal Authority, nearly 19,000 ships passed through the canal by 2020, an average of 51.5 a day.