Egypt begins probe of Suez Canal blockage by Ever Given

Ship blocking Suez Canal could be stuck for weeks; owner apologizes

 

Divers inspected the hull of the Ever Given on Wednesday as the man tasked with investigating how the giant container ship ran aground, choking off international trade through the Suez Canal for almost a week, boarded the vessel.

The Suez Canal Authority’s lead investigator Captain Sayed Sheasha, who boarded the Ever Given on Wednesday afternoon, said the investigation would include examining the seaworthiness of the ship and its captain’s actions to help determine the causes.

Divers had gone to check the hull of the ship while it is anchored in the Bitter Lakes area, a canal source said. The Ever Given’s captain was committed to fully complying with the probe, Sheasha said.

The six-day blockage threw global supply chains into disarray after the 400-meter-long (430-yard) ship became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Wednesday that shipping had returned to normal levels, with a total of 81 ships transiting the canal.

Egypt’s Leth Agencies said on Wednesday that a total of 163 ships had transited the Suez Canal since its reopening and that 292 ships were currently waiting.

Five LNG vessels transited on Tuesday, commodities analysts Kpler said in a note, adding that it appeared congestion at the canal was “now quickly tapering off.”

The SCA has scheduled accelerated shipping convoys and has said it hopes the backlog of ships can be cleared by the end of the week.

The blocking of the canal is expected to give rise to flurry of insurance claims, with Lloyd’s of London expecting a “large loss,” possibly amounting to $100 million or more, according to its chairman.

The Japanese owner of the Ever Given said it had not received any claims or lawsuits over the blockage.

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