Two additional tugs are going to help pull the stranded freighter in the Suez Canal. One of these is the Dutch vessel the Alp Guard, evidenced by satellite data from website Marine Traffic.
On the orders of Egyptian President Sisi, preparations are being made to remove some of the containers from the ship. Thats what the head of the Suez Canal Authority reports to the Egyptian news channel Extra News.
When actually proceed to unloading on site, the ship becomes lighter and easier to move. But experts fear a sharp delay if a large part of the load is unloaded.
Since Tuesday morning, the 400-metre-long Ever Given has blocked the maritime route in Egypt indispensable for world trade. At high tide, another attempt is made to tow the ship away. The local authorities hope that the two tugs will be the decisive factor, but yesterday did not venture to predict how long the crisis will last.
The plan is that the extra tugs help push the container giant out of place. This is possible as soon as enough sand and sludge has been sucked out from under the ship. But the strong tidal movements and strong winds make it extra difficult.
“ Today will be a crucial day,” says an anonymous official of the Suez Canal Authority to press agency AP. “It will be decisive for the next step, which is most likely to have at least a part of the cargo of the ship.”
On board the Ever Given there is room for 20,000 containers. Since there are two different sizes for such containers, it is not possible to say with certainty how many exactly are on board. But such ships almost always sail at full capacity.
Yesterday, a success was achieved by freeing up the helm and stern. The ship then moved slightly, but then stuck again.
The Canal Authority announced at a press conference that more than 320 freighters are in traffic in front of the canal. What caused the Ever Given to be jammed is still unclear. The Authority does not rule out a human error or technical cause. The strong winds have played a role in any case, preliminary research showed.
Logistic chaos on the way
Dutch shipping companies and companies fear logistical chaos once the canal is free for freight traffic again. The influx of cargo ships will then probably be too large for ports to be able to process quickly.