Salvage teams freed the Ever Given in the Suez Canal, according to maritime services provider Inchcape, almost a week after the giant vessel ran aground in one of the world’s most important trade paths.
While the ship is floating again, it wasn’t immediately clear how soon the waterway would be open to traffic, or how long it will take to clear the logjam of more than 450 ships stuck, waiting and en route to the Suez that have identified it as their next destination.
The backlog is one more strain for global supply chains already stretched by the pandemic as the canal is a conduit for about 12% of global trade. Some ships have already opted for the long and expensive trip around the southern tip of Africa instead of Suez.
The breakthrough in the rescue attempt came after diggers removed 27,000 cubic meters of sand, going deep into the banks of the canal.
- 27,000 cubic meters of sand were dug out, to a depth of 18 meters
- Egypt had set a deadline of Tuesday to start unloading the ship if it wasn’t refloated yet
- The ship’s front was damaged, though the vessel is stable
- Explainers: Why the Suez Canal is so important, and why shipping was in a bind even before this crisis
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