Egyptian authorities have seized the massive Ever Given 224,000-ton cargo ship which blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week last month, amid a dispute over financial damages. An Egyptian court ordered the vessel’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, to pay $900 million in compensation as a result of losses inflicted when the Panamanian-flagged Ever Given prevented marine traffic from transiting. The bill also includes maintenance fees and the costs of the rescue operation. At 400 meters (1,312 feet), the ship is as long as the Empire State building is tall and can carry up to 20,000 containers. “Obviously, the size of these vessels makes a salvage operation a significant undertaking,” said AGCS global head of marine risk consulting, Rahul Khanna.
“Even when the canal gets reopened, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment are significant and the blockage has already triggered a series of further disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take weeks, possibly months, to unravel,” Maersk (AMKAF) said in a statement on Monday. UK Club, the protection and indemnity insurer for the Ever Given, said Tuesday that they had responded to a claim from the Suez Canal Authority for $916 million, and questioned its basis. UK Club believes the magnitude of the claim is not valid. “They are still talking to us. So we will continue negotiations on compensation,” said Ryu Murakoshi, a spokesman for vessel’s owner company.