Ever Given impounded by Egyptian authorities as ports brace for Suez blockage after-effects

Wed 14 Apr 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

ever given ship

Ports around the world remain braced for the impact of the blockage of the Suez Canal. 

According to data from supply chain visibility platform Project44, reported in the Loadstar, the cumulative delay for shipping fleets could total to 1,072 days.

Backed-up

Up to 1.9 million teu of cargo could be affected by delays, and the world’s largest ports are expected to bear the brunt of the surge in backed-up freight.

Singapore has 370,000 teu of capacity currently en route, while Rotterdam will see 196,600 teu arrive in the next week, according to Project44.

Meanwhile the Ever Given, the huge cargo ship that caused the Suez Canal blockage by running aground two weeks ago, was today impounded by a court in Egypt as the canal’s authority pursues the ship’s Japanese owners for the cost of the salvage operation and lost transit fees.

Theft alert

Regarding the freight surge, ports have been warned that container theft could rise as they are swamped by increases in traffic.

Mike Yarwood, director of loss prevention at insurer TT Club, said: “Whether it simply be at an overspill holding or storage area, or temporary warehousing, wherever and whenever cargo is not moving, it is more likely to be stolen.”

Although through traffic in the canal is now back to normal, Maersk head of global ocean network, Lars Mikael Jensen has said that delays will last for more than a month, according to Lloyd’s Loading List.

“We will see ripple effects continuing into the second half of May,” he said.

Compensation claim

The Ever Given has been impounded by the Suez Canal Authority in a row with the ship owners about compensation for the blockage – one estimate puts the likely claim at $900m – and disruption.

A court in the Egyptian city of Ismailia granted a request by the Suez Canal Authority to seize the 200,000 tonne, 1,312ft vessel, the Telegraph reports

The Guardian says litigation “could be complex, since the vessel is owned by a Japanese firm, operated by a Taiwanese shipper and is flagged in Panama".