Suez Canal clears backlog of ships 5 days after Ever Given dislodged

FILE: Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is seen in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
FILE: Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is seen in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Copyright Mohamed Elshahed/AP
By Euronews with AFP, AP
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The last 61 ships stranded by the grounding of a massive container vessel passed the canal on both sides on Saturday.


The last ships stranded after the massive container vessel Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week have been able to pass from both sides, the Canal Authority said on Saturday.

Comparable in size to a skyscraper, the Ever Given was fully refloated on Monday after holding up €7.6 billion in global trade daily.

A total of 422 ships loaded with 26 million tonnes of cargo got stranded in a massive traffic jam, the Suez Canal Authority said.

The last 61 ships waiting since the refloating of the Ever Given were able to cross the canal on Saturday together with 24 new ships, the authority said in a statement.

Over a hundred ships crossed the canal on Monday night, just a few hours after the dislodging of the Ever Given.

Nearly 19,000 ships used the canal in 2020, according to the Canal Authority, that is an average of 51.5 ships per day.

The Ever Given had crashed into a bank of a single-lane stretch of the canal, near the city of Suez.

That forced some ships to take the long, alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip — a 5,000-kilometre detour that cost ships hundreds of thousands of euros in fuel and other costs.

Others waited in place for the blockage to be over.

The unprecedented shutdown raised fears of extended delays, goods shortages and rising costs for consumers.

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