The Suez Canal Authority has announced the recommencement of normalcy on the Suez Canal waterway yesterday.
This is close to a week after a massive cargo ship blocked it, hence ending a predicament that had clogged one of the world’s most vibrant maritime arteries.
The Evergreen vessel, which had been firmly stuck from the canal’s sandy bank since last Tuesday, was tugged by a fleet of tugboats with the help of the peak of high tide.
Close to 425 ships on Monday were waiting to cross the canal.
The Suez Canal is a link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. It may, however, take some time to clear the waterway.
The blockade has generated an immense traffic jam in the passage, delaying $9 billion daily in global trade as well as draining supply chains that have previously been weighed down by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Egypt has lost $10 million in revenue every day, as the vessel had blocked about 10% of international maritime trade.
The salvage team pulled the vessel toward the Great Bitter Lake, after moving it over the canal bank. The Great Bitter Lake is a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south end of the canal. The 220,000-ton vessel will undergo technical inspection as per the canal authorities.
According to satellite data from MarineTraffic.com, the ship was moving toward the centre of the artery. It is estimated by Data firm Refinitiv that the backlog of ships will take more than 10 days to clear.
Temporarily, masses of vessels have settled on the alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip. The route has its shortcomings such as adding two weeks to journeys as well as ship fuel costs.
By Everlyne Bosibori