The container ship ‘Ever Given’ remains stranded in the Suez Canal for the third day. The number of ships standing still waiting to be able to circulate is growing by the minute and has caused the world’s largest maritime traffic jam .
In order not to worsen the situation of ship collapse, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced this Thursday that navigation on this route is “temporarily suspended” . The incident, on which an investigation has been opened , has also caused a 6% increase in the price of oil .
In recent hours, low tide has slowed down efforts to unblock the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen’s ship , a 400-meter-long, 224,000-ton bulk. The work of the operators has barely achieved small changes in the position of the ‘Ever Given’, which is still crossed diagonally.
The company that owns the ship, Shoei Kisen Kaisha , has admitted that they are facing “extreme difficulty” in getting the ship afloat. “In cooperation with the local authorities and the Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement company we are trying to unravel it, but we are facing extreme difficulty “,
Last night, the authority that manages the Suez Canal sent a note to its clients assuring that they were working hard to unblock the road but that the wind conditions and the size of the cargo were complicating the operation.
Experts point out that if the Canal is not unblocked in the next 24-48 hours, some companies will be forced to change the route of their ships and direct them towards the Horn of Africa, which will add a week to their travel plan. With the temporary suspension of navigation ordered by the SCA, 13 ships of the northern convoy (coming from the Mediterranean Sea) that had to pass are stopped in waiting areas until they are completely dislodged, “the authorities have detailed.
Open an investigation
The Maritime Authority of Panama , which has the responsibility before the International Maritime Organization (IOM) to carry out all investigations of accidents or incidents that occur on board Panamanian-flagged vessels such as the ‘Ever Given’, has announced that it will open an investigation into the accident.
“We are nominating an investigator who is precisely going to draw up a report to be able to understand for sure what were the events that are around this stranding of the ship ‘Ever Given’ in the Suez Canal”, explained the head of the Directorate General of the Merchant Marine (DGMM) of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), Rafael Cigarruista.
“We are coordinating with the local authorities, and in fact the embassy and the consulate (of Panama) have been in constant communication with the Egyptian authorities,” added Cigarruista.
The manager assures that he already has “enough information” for a preliminary report, which he estimates could be ready “in the next 15, 30 days, depending on how the information continues to flow.”
“This is a 400-meter ship, when it loses maneuverability it falls towards one of its sides, and it turns out that it touches the bottom of the channel, and when it touches the bottom of the channel, perhaps the current or the wind itself will push it and obstruct the road. aquatic, “said Cigarruista.
He has assured that the captain of the ship “was definitely in charge of navigation”, but stressed that in the Suez Canal “there are pilots who are the ones who advise the captain during transit in this area, and there were two pilots in that area. moment”.
The Suez Canal, hub of world trade
The Panamanian official ruled out that sanctions will be applied for this accident because “all these vessels have an insurance policy,” and “there was no contamination, no injuries, and the damage is structural to the ship” that carries 20,000 containers.
“It really sounds shocking because of the size of the boat, they are issues that maritime speaking do not happen every day, nor are they very common, but when they do happen they do not generate a greater alert as long as there is no pollution,” he said.
Another of the repercussions of the blockade is the rise in oil. Prices rose almost 6% on Wednesday, driven by supply fears amid the blockage of the Suez Canal, a key route for the transportation of crude. Oil moved in line with reports on the duration of the Suez Canal blockade, Oanda analyst Edward Moya explained.
A barrel of WTI in New York for delivery in May gained 5.92% to $ 61.18 over Tuesday’s close. And a barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in May gained 5.95% to 64.41 dollars in London.