The Ever Given has been freed but the backlog and congestion continues.

Shipping companies are hit with the knock on effect from the Suez Canal holdup

Sarah Woodrow

April 14, 2021

The Suez Canal was unblocked last week and the mega-container ship Ever Given was recovered but now the back log and congestion in North Europe’s major ports will reach critical levels over the next month, as terminals try to work through the backlog. 

Dozens of container ships were stuck when the Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23, with specialist rescue teams taking almost a week to free the vessel. The blockage of the Suez Canal will see a negative impact on global supply chains in the coming weeks. It will be particularly seen in Asia and here in Europe with a decline in the availability of empty equipment and some shipping lines halting new bookings. This comes as another blow to Shipping companies who are already contending with disruptions caused by coronavirus pandemic and an increase in demand for retail goods.

Transporters elsewhere have been turning to a rail links between China and Europe to get critical supplies through, although users stressed volumes were still small.  Some firms who are still waiting to find out when their goods will arrive, are looking to have them sent over by air freight, which costs at least three times more.

It was announced yesterday that the Egyptian authorities have seized the Ever Given 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 through the vital global trade waterway, the state-run Al Ahram news outlet said on Tuesday.

Photo Credit- Suez Canal Authority

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