Shipping giant Maersk brings lawsuit over Suez Canal blockage by Ever Given

Tue 14 Feb 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Evergreen ship at sea

Global shipping giant Maersk has launched legal proceedings over the 2021 blocking of the Suez Canal by the vessel Ever Given.

The ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, causing a blockage of the crucial trade artery, roiling international supply chains and leaving hundreds of commercial ships waiting days for passage.

Case details

The Times reports that Maersk is bringing the case in front of the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court.

The respondents to the complaint reportedly include Tawianese carrier Evergreen, German ship manager Bernard Schulte and Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha.

Maersk reportedly told the Associated Press in an email that the claim was related to losses suffered during the canal’s blockage.

The damages claimed have not been officially confirmed, nor has a date yet been announced for any trial.

Response

The Loadstar reports that Evergreen has claimed that responsibility for the action lies elsewhere.

“As Ever Given is leased by Evergreen under the terms of a time-charter agreement, all expenses for the refloating operation and any liabilities are the responsibility of the vessel’s owner,” the company said.

The other two respondents have not made any comment.

Back story

The ship Ever Given, a 220,000-tonne vessel, ran aground in the southern stretch of the canal in March 2021, as reported by the IOE&IT Daily Bulletin.

The ensuing blockage lasted for six days and generated a sizeable backlog, only being cleared after an extensive rescue operation.

Tradewinds reports that the losses caused by the delay amounted to between $30bn to $50bn.

The ship was seized and subsequently released by Egyptian authorities later that year in a dispute over compensation.