Diggers were working to remove parts of the canal's bank and expand dredging close to the ship's bow to a depth of 18 metres (19.7 yards), the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement. "And after all, it's also possible to reroute the oil supply to go around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa - which of course takes more time and it's more costly but ultimately, it will not impact gasoline prices or crude oil prices for that matter", he explains.
The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship operated by the company Evergreen, that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, got stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal.
With about 12% of global trade passing through it every year, the Suez Canal is one of the world's most important and most-traveled shipping routes.
Aerial photos from a plane flying over the Suez Canal on Saturday have shown just how bad the traffic jam of ships has become, five days after a giant container ship ran aground and blocked the vital trade route.
Egypt's Leth Agencies tweeted the ship had been partially refloated, pending official confirmation from the Suez Canal Authority.
However, Rabie said weather conditions were "not the main reasons" for the ship's grounding.
The SCA has said it can accelerate convoys through the canal once the Ever Given is freed. Then during the Six Day War, Egypt imposed a blockade to prevent Israeli ships using the canal until 1975.
At a press conference in Japan Friday, Shoei Kisen president Yukito Higaki told local media there were no signs of damage to its engines and various instruments.
Megaship Blocking Suez Canal May Be Refloated Today: Owner
She added: "There will be considerable delays in the loading schedule at Ras Laffan for the start of April due to the congestion". On Friday, the Reuters news agency reported that efforts to free the ship had failed and may now take several more weeks.
Rabei said he could not predict when the ship might be dislodged.
The tugboats will move the ship as dredgers continue to vacuum up sand from beneath it and mud caked to its side.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm hired to extract the Ever Given, said the company hoped to pull the container ship free within days using a combination of heavy tugboats, dredging and high tides.
Experts say that there are virtually no alternatives to Suez Canal for shipping goods via Europe and Asia, except to take a longer detour via the Cape of Good Hope, which adds extra two weeks and further costs to shipments.
Container ships accounted for 52.7% of the tonnage in 2019 transiting the canal including shipments from Asia to Europe and the U.S. east coast as well as vice-versa.
According to data from Lloyd's List, the blockage is holding up an estimated $9.6 billion of goods each day - or $400m an hour.
The next option, in the event that it can not be transported with all its cargo, is to unload part of the containers to reduce the weight of Ever Given, which has 18,300 containers of cargo on board, according to the data provided.
"Over 10% of global trade moves through the Suez canal", he said.
The blockage has caused a huge backlog of ships at both the Red Sea and Mediterranean ends of the canal, causing major delays in the delivery of oil and other products. "It's going to affect shipping schedules around the world", he warned.