The salvage company leading the recovery operation of the Ever Given, has announced that the vessel has been refloated and is under tow to a safe location for vessel inspection.
More than 10 tugboats were on the scene, as well as specialized dredging equipment. More than 20,000 tons of sand and mud were removed during the dredging operation. High tide also contributed to Monday’s successful refloat attempt.
The Suez Canal passage, one of the world’s busiest waterways, remained blocked in both directions for 7 days as the Ever Given, a container ship operated by Evergreen lodged sideways due to strong winds early Tuesday, March 23.
While efforts to dislodge the massive container ship were taken, hundreds of ships were caught up in the traffic snarl in both directions. For every day that passes, more vessels will reach the blockage. The Suez Canal Authority, however, has advised that they expect container vessel traffic to resume at the soonest opportunity.
With the quantity of vessels impacted by the backlog, it may take several days for the canal to return to regular operations.
While ETAs were jeopardized, it mariis too early to indicate delays, but for every day that the canal remained blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continued to increase. This impact is expected to continue well beyond the physical removal of the vessel.
The ship’s refloating means traffic can resume in the Suez Canal. Nearly 19,000 ships passed through the canal during 2020, for an average of 51.5 per day, according to the Suez Canal Authority. More than 350 vessels are currently waiting on either side of the canal, according to estimates from Leth Agencies. This includes container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers.