The Ever Given, the massive container ship that was jammed in the Suez Canal and interrupted traffic on the vital waterway for almost a week, was brought back to life on Monday, according to the authorities.
The ship sailed north to Great Bitter Lake and arrived there just before 1 p.m. ET, according to Leth Agencies, a transit agent on the Suez Canal. The ship is now undergoing a technical inspection.
The Suez Canal Authority had announced on Monday that the ship had “reacted to the pulling and towing 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 an extension of more than 1,300 feet is almost as long as the Empire State Building.
The ship, which ran aground last Tuesday, caused further disruptions in a global supply chain that was already strained under the ongoing effects of Covid-19.
Around 12% of world trade is transacted via the Suez Canal. Lloyd’s List estimates that more than $ 9 billion worth of goods pass the 120-mile waterway every day, which equates to roughly $ 400 million an hour.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the ship’s technical director, said last week that the Ever Given had run aground due to strong winds. Over the weekend, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, said human or technical errors may have played a role in the ship’s deviation from its course.
Experienced recovery teams were called in to help float back up. More than 10 tugs and special dredging equipment were on site. More than 20,000 tons of sand and mud were removed during the dredging operation.
The tide also contributed to the successful float on Monday.
“Today the Egyptians managed to end the crisis of the criminal ship in the Suez Canal, despite the enormous technical complexity that surrounded this process from all sides,” said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in a tweet on Monday.
As the ship floats up again, traffic in the Suez Canal can be resumed. According to the Suez Canal Authority, almost 19,000 ships passed the canal in 2020, an average of 51.5 per day.
Leth agencies estimate that there are currently more than 350 ships waiting on both sides of the canal. This includes container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers. With Ever Given remaining under contract last week, some ship operators decided to reroute ships around the Cape of Good Hope, adding more than a week of extra sailing time while increasing fuel costs.
After the Ever Given arrived at Great Bitter Lake, the 43 ships that had previously got stuck there resumed transit.
The Suez Canal Authority expects 113 ships to cross the waterway from both sides on Monday. At this rate, SCA expects the backlog to be resolved in 3.5 days.