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World Suez Canal Remains Choked as Elite Team Tackles Stuck Ship

10:10  26 march  2021
10:10  26 march  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

Opinion: Suez Canal traffic jam blocks the world's jugular vein

  Opinion: Suez Canal traffic jam blocks the world's jugular vein A failure of machinery, human error or natural events -- high winds and reduced visibility - may have caused Ever Given to run ashore in the Suez Canal, writes Salvatore R. Mercogliano. But its impact will resonate far from its banks as it has blocked the jugular of one of the largest trade routes in human history. The Suez Canal was opened in November 1869 to great fanfare after 10 years of excavation. A joint endeavor by France and Great Britain, it provided a shorter route to Asia than having to circumnavigate Africa. Connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea, the vital waterway was essential to maritime commerce.

(Bloomberg) -- A huge backlog of vessels was building up around the Suez Canal amid warnings that the salvage team could need days -- or even weeks -- to prise out the giant container ship that’s blocking the crucial waterway.

Work to re-float the Ever Given and allow passage for oceangoing carriers hauling almost $10 billion of oil and consumer goods continued without success on Thursday in Egypt. Tugs and diggers have so far failed to budge the vessel, and some experts say the crisis could drag on for several days. The Suez Canal Authority has temporarily suspended traffic along the waterway.

“I can’t exclude that it can last weeks if the ship is really stuck,” said Peter Berdowski, chief executive officer of Boskalis Westminster, the parent company of the salvage team. The process would take that long if “you need to get rid of cargo and you need to do dredging as well,” he said in an interview on the Nieuwsuur TV program in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Tugs and dredgers try to free megaship blocking Suez Canal

  Tugs and dredgers try to free megaship blocking Suez Canal Tugboats and dredgers were working Friday to free a giant container ship blocking Egypt's Suez Canal for a fourth day, forcing companies to re-route services from the vital shipping lane around Africa. The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football fields, has been wedged diagonally across the entire canal since Tuesday, shutting the waterway in both directions. The blockage has caused a huge traffic jam for more than 200 ships at either end of the 193-kilometre (120-mile) long canal and major delays in the delivery of oil and other products.

About 12% of global trade goes through the canal, making it so strategic that world powers have fought over the waterway since it was completed in 1869. For now, all that traffic is backed up with the Ever Given aground in the southern part of the canal, creating another setback for global supply chains already strained by the e-commerce boom linked to the pandemic.

At about a quarter mile long (400 meters) and weighing in at 200,000 tons, the sheer size of the vessel is overwhelming efforts to dig it out. A huge yellow excavator, itself about twice as tall as its driver, looked like a child’s toy parked next to the ship’s hulking bow.

Here’s the latest:

The front of the ship is wedged around 5 meters (16 feet) into the canal’s wall, which is one of the main obstacles to re-floating it fully, according to people familiar with the matter.Dredging has been done to remove sand from around the front hull, so it can be tugged from the side, according to people familiar with the matter.Attempts to re-float the vessel have restarted again on Thursday, according to Inchcape Shipping Services, a maritime services provider.SMIT Salvage BV’s vessel Boka Da Vinci, which is in Egypt’s Port Said, is on standby and ready to help

“In our view the situation now looks unlikely to be heading for a swift resolution given that it is not a simple grounding,” Braemar ACM Shipbroking said in a report on Thursday. “We now do not rule out several days of blockage in the canal as, among other things, the vessel will very likely have to be lightened and dug out at the ends.”

Five things to know about the cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal

  Five things to know about the cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal A massive, 1,300-foot cargo ship remains stuck in the Suez Canal after running aground nearly a week ago and becoming wedged sideways in the waterway, blocking all traffic through the vital shipping lane and causing major traffic jams in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.It soon became clear that major trade delays were on the horizon and would grow with each day the ship wasn't freed.Experts and officials are exploring multiple options to refloat the skyscraper-length vessel, but as of Sunday afternoon its bow section remained wedged in sand and rock.Here are five things to know about the grounded ship and the broader issues it is creating around the world:1.

The struggle to dislodge the ship falls to SMIT Salvage BV, a legendary Dutch firm whose employees fly from one shipping incident to the next, often boarding vessels during violent storms. Japan’s Nippon Salvage Co. has also been hired to assist in the re-floating, according to a statement from the Ever Given’s operator, Evergreen Marine Corp. Taiwan Ltd.

How to Dislodge a 200,000-Ton Ship From a Canal Wall

The best chance for returning shipping to normal may not come until Sunday or Monday, when the tide will reach a peak, according to Nick Sloane, the salvage master responsible for re-floating the Costa Concordia, which capsized off Italy in 2012.

The salvors may have to lighten the ship by removing things like the ballast water, which helps keep it steady while at sea. Fuel could also be unloaded.

A rough estimate shows the blockage is snarling about $9.6 billion worth of traffic a day, based on calculations from Lloyd’s List that suggest westbound traffic is worth around $5.1 billion a day and eastbound traffic approximately $4.5 billion. On Wednesday, 185 vessels were waiting to cross the canal, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg, while Lloyd’s estimates there’s 165.

How the Giant Boat Blocking the Suez Canal Was Freed: Dredgers, Tugboats, and a Full Moon

  How the Giant Boat Blocking the Suez Canal Was Freed: Dredgers, Tugboats, and a Full Moon How a celestial body contributed to the rescue effortsThe recovery vessels took advantage of high spring tides around the full moon on Sunday to free the Ever Given, which had blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal for almost a week. Its partial refloating just before dawn on Monday drew cheers and foghorn blasts from the bridges of other vessels caught in the bi-directional snarl that had held up hundreds of ships and billions of dollars worth of cargo each day since March 23.

“The biggest impact we’re seeing from all the vessels we’re tracking is around some bulks and container shipping,” Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Vice President of Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets Alan Gelder said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We see less of an impact on oil, oil products and LNG, but the impact on those things get bigger if we are still in this situation in a few days.”

graphical user interface: Tight Fit © Bloomberg Tight Fit

The incident began on Tuesday when strong winds kicked up sands along the banks of the 120-mile canal. The waterway is narrow -- less than 675 feet wide (205 meters) in some places -- and can be difficult to navigate when there’s poor visibility.

But the Ever Given stayed its course through the canal, on its way to Rotterdam from China. As gusts that reached as high as 46 miles an hour swept up dust around it, the crew lost control of ship and it careened sideways into a sandy embankment, blocking nearly the entirety of the channel.

Read More:
Suez Snarl Seen Halting $9.6 Billion a Day Worth of Ship TrafficTracking the Ship Blocking One of the World’s Key Trade LanesShips Larger Than Three Soccer Fields Show Why Suez Is BlockedSuez Blockage Is a Signal of What’s Ahead as Ships Get BiggerWhat’s Backed Up at the Suez Canal? Live Animals, Oil and Food

At the heart of all of this is the ship’s massive scale. Container vessels have nearly doubled in size in the past decade as global trade expanded, making the job of moving such ships much harder when they get stuck.

Egypt has opened a formal investigation into how the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal

  Egypt has opened a formal investigation into how the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal A Suez Canal Authority advisor told Reuters that authorities plan to focus on the state of the ship and the captain's actions before the grounding.Captain Sayed Sheaysha, an advisor to the Suez Canal Authority, said that experts would board the ship on Wednesday to try and gather information, the BBC reported.

Even while key routes -- including the Suez Canal -- have been widened and deepened over the years to accommodate the mega-sized vessels, the work to dig them out after they get stuck takes enormous power.

The blockage highlights a major risk faced by the shipping industry as more and more ships transit maritime choke points including the Suez, Panama Canal, the Strait of Hormuz and Malacca Strait. Such occurrences could become more common as ships get bigger and waterways become more congested.

Oil companies are starting to prepare for the worst. On Wednesday, there was an uptick in interest from oil companies looking to book tankers with options to avoid the canal, according to a broker, and several bid for space on the pipelines that allow bypass of the waterway completely.

For now, that’s a just-in-case move. Container ships will most likely have to wait it out, as the main alternative is the unattractive option of sailing around the southern tip of Africa. However, at least one shipment of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. has potentially diverted course toward the Cape of Good Hope and away from Suez, Wood Mackenzie analyst Lucas Schmitt said in a note on Thursday.

Battered Oil Tanker Owners Are Earning Money Again on Suez Jam

“We are now watching out for –- and expect -- vessel diversions,” Braemar said in its report. Large tankers carrying oil products from the Atlantic basin “are now likely to be evaluating a passage around the Cape of Good Hope.”

(Updates with details of dredging operations in seventh paragraph.)

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©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Suez Canal Ship Update as Ever Given Blockage Backlog Set to Finally be Cleared .
The last remaining 61 ships of the 422 that were caught in a backlog after the Ever Given got stuck will finally be able to continue with their journey.Officials at the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said the last ships that were stranded after the massive vessel would pass through today, according to Reuters.

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