Suez Canal: Ever Given ship finally freed

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Finally, the official indicated that the Ever Given was undergoing technical inspection, after which it would be sent on its way to its destination in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The giant vessel headed toward the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, where it will be inspected, said Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship.

Video showed the stern of the enormous Ever Given ship swung towards the canal bank, with voices heard shouting in celebration as tug boats moved around it. It's estimated it will take 10 days to get all the ships through the canal, leading some to take a detour that forces the ships to travel an extra 3,100 miles and adding hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.

It remained unclear when traffic through the canal would return to normal. Ten tugboats pushed and pulled it for five days.

"SCA has chose to postpone the next refloating attempt until sufficient tug power is in place", it said, adding "a likely time for the next attempt is Monday evening".

The Ever Given flies the flag of Panama and is owned by a Japanese company.

"Since most of the imports blocked over the last week are heading to Europe, U.S. consumers will likely see little effect on prices of U.S. imports, except to the extent that intermediate products of U.S. final goods are made in Europe", said Bergstrand, professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

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Mark Szakonyi, executive editor of the Journal of Commerce, a publication that covers shipping and logistics, said the blockage in the canal couldn't have come at a worse time.

The crisis cast a spotlight on the vital trade route that carries over 10% of global trade, including 7% of the world's oil.

Millions of barrels of oil and gas move through the canal from the Persian Gulf to Europe and North America. The dozen or so container carriers that control most of the world's ocean freight capacity are already charging record-high rates on some routes, and shortages of everything from chemicals and lumber to dockside labor already abound.

The operation to free the Ever Give succeeded using only the tugboats and other heavy equipment.

While the likely impact of this incident on India is minimal for now, had the blockage continued for days and weeks, pressure would have mounted for certain industries that depend on Europe and the U.S. for critical raw materials or parts or for those industries whose turnovers are driven by exports to these countries.

"Further, once the blockage is removed, it may still take at least a week for all the piled-up vessels to pass through the canal", he said. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English.

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