One of the largest container ships in the world has been partially refloated after it ran aground in the Suez canal. Several dredgers had toiled to vacuum up 27,000 cubic meters of sand and mud around the ship. The ship’s engine was functional and it could pursue its trip normally when freed.Ten tug boats have been helping with the operation. Satellite data from MarineTraffic.com showed the ship in the same position, surrounded by a squadron of tugs with its bulbous bow stuck in the canal’s eastern bank. The 220,000-ton, 400-metre-long Ever Given operated by the Taiwan-based firm Evergreen had been partially refloated and moved alongside the canal bank. The ship owner losing $60,000 [£44,000] per day or $3-4000 per hour of delay.
“Some production lines may be halted due to containers being caught in traffic like this,” Peter Sand, the chief shipping analyst with Bimco, an international association for shipowners said. Natural gas prices have increased and food supply chains may be affected if the blockage persists. The Ever Given was bound for the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands from China. The Suez canal is one of the most important waterways in the world and links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and shipping lanes to Asia. Hundreds of vessels are stuck now including some from Romania, transporting animals. Natural gas prices have increased and food supply chains may be affected if the blockage persists.