The Ever Given Ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days last month faces seizure by Egyptian courts as the waterway’s operators demand compensation for lost revenue.
A court in the Egyptian city of Ismailia this afternoon granted the Suez Canal Authority’s request for the 1,312ft ship to be seized, according to state-run news site Ahram Gate.
Egyptians cheered as the mega container ship was refloated on 29 March after six days of being lodged in the Suez Canal, causing one of the biggest shipping pile-ups for decades.
The channel, which was built in 1869 to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, serves as the shortest maritime route from Europe to Asia. About 12 per cent of global trade passes through the canal each day.
The Suez Canal Authority is understood to be seeking around $900m in compensation for lost trade during the logjam.
Loss of revenue from transit fees alone, which start at about $100,000 per ship, ran to $15m a day amid the holdup.
Suez Canal chairman Osama Rabie said last month that the waterway’s revenues were taking a $14m-$15m hit for each day of the blockage, which in turn caused a knock-on effect on global trade.
The canal operator is also seeking compensation for repairs to damage caused when the Ever Given hit the right hand-bank of the waterway, along with costs related to recovering the 200,000-tonne ship.
A spokesman for the Ever Given’s owner, Japan-based firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha, declined to comment while discussions with the Suez Canal are underway.
The company offered a written apology during the pile-up last month, saying: “We would like to apologise to all parties affected by this incident, including the ships travelling and planning to travel through Suez Canal.”
Further delays are expected to continue in the coming weeks at major ports such as Singapore and Rotterdam because of schedule disruptions as a result of the incident, according to supply-chain data provider project44.