Suez Canal: Ever Given freed!

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Suez Canal: Ever Given freed!

Horns blared in celebration as the Ever Given that was blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was freed and the waterway has been reopened to traffic. The ship is no longer grounded and is now heading north from the southern end of the canal towards Great Bitter Lake, where it will be inspected for damage.

Like all involved in International trade we are thankful that the vessel Ever Given has now been released from the Suez Canal, given many industry comments that it could take weeks this result overnight should have the least impact on the global supply chain.

The Ever Given, a 400m long, 200,000 ton vessel had been wedged between the east and west banks of the canal since last Tuesday. Several attempts by tug boats to pull the vessel free had failed and dredging of the canal wall begun on Saturday in a desperate attempt to dislodge the vessel; 27,000 cubic metres of sand and mud, to a depth of 18m had been removed which allowed water to flow underneath the ship. On Monday, local time another attempt was made during high tide. The vessel was refloated before becoming stuck again as it swung back to block the waterway in high winds — but it did not become regrounded, with its bow remaining afloat, eventually the tugs boats where able to move the vessel onto it’s correct course.

There is however still likely to be a flow-on effect of this with delays at ports globally, congestion, blank sailings and rescheduled sailings albeit not to the extent had the vessel release taken several weeks. At least 113 of over 420 vessels that had waited for Ever Given to be freed are expected to cross the canal by Tuesday morning, local time. Analysts expect it could take at least another 10 days to clear the backlog on either end.

To our customers our message remains the same as it has been throughout the COVID period, please always engage with our customer service team when raising a purchase order (PO), if you are not already taking advantage our PO tracking and management system we would recommend having this discussion with our customer service and or sales team. Allow a longer lead time and continue to give consideration to what buffer stock you are requiring, with COVID and now the Suez Canal issues stock holding decisions are considerably different than the pre-COVID period.

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