GiantFor the fifth day on Saturday, as the authorities prepare for new attempts to free the ship and reopen an important waterway between East and West for global shipping.
The owners of the Evergiven family say a gust of wind pushed them and their massive cargo of more than 20,000 shipping containers sideways into the canal on Tuesday, falling between the canal’s sandy banks. The huge ship was suspended in a single passage of the canal a few miles from its southern entrance.
Ever Given coach Bernard Schulte Ship Management said an attempt to free her failed Friday.
She added that plans are underway to pump water from the interior of the ship, and two more tugboats are due to arrive by Sunday to join others already trying to move the huge vessel.
A Suez Canal Authority official said they intend to make at least two attempts on Saturday to free the ship when the tide is low.
Sea traffic congestion rose to about 280 ships Saturday outside the Suez Canal, according to the canal service provider Leth Agencies. Some ships have begun to change course and dozens of ships are still en route to the waterway, according to data company Refinitiv.
Shui Kisen Chairman Yukito Higaki said at a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Imabari in western Japan that 10 tug boats had been deployed and workers were shoveling banks and the sea floor near the bow of the ship in an attempt to turn them back as the high tide began to exit. .
In a statement on Saturday, Choi Kesen said the company was considering removing containers to ease the ship if resumption efforts failed, but that would be a difficult process.
The White House said it offered to help Egypt reopen the canal. “We have equipment and capabilities that most countries don’t have and we are seeing what we can do and what help we can provide,” President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday.
The prolonged closure of the crucial waterway would delay the global shipping chain. According to official figures, about 19,000 ships passed through the canal last year. About 10% of world trade flows through the canal, which is especially important for transporting oil. The shutdown could affect shipments of oil and gas to Europe from the Middle East.
It was not clear how long the blockage would last. Even after the reopening of the canal linking factories in Asia to consumers in Europe, waiting containers are likely to reach congested ports, forcing them to face additional delays before unloading.
Apparently anticipating long delays, the stranded ship owners have diverted a sister ship, Ever Greet, on a course around Africa instead, according to satellite data.
Others are also converted. The LNG company Pan Americas changed course in the mid-Atlantic, and is now aiming south to roam around the southern tip of Africa, according to satellite data from MarineTraffic.com.
The Financial Times reported Friday that a number of shipping groups have contacted the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet over maritime security concerns for ships that choose to sail south around Africa, which could put them in waters off the east coast of the continent with a long history. From piracy.
“Africa is at risk of piracy, especially in East Africa,” Zhao Qingfeng of the Chinese Shipowners’ Association in Shanghai told the Financial Times, indicating that owners may need to hire additional security forces to board their ships before making the long voyage.
It is just another factor that could cause a dangerous slowdown and a potential spike in commodity prices moving to Europe and the United States from Asia, and yet another headache for the global supply chain system that is already suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Egyptian authorities have banned media access to the site. The Canal Authority said that its head, Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, will hold a press conference on Saturday in the city of Suez, a few kilometers from the ship’s site.
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