SUEZ, Sidat.ID,– A large container ship ran aground and got stuck in the Suez Canal after being pushed by a strong gust of wind. This incident resulted in a massive traffic jam of ships at both ends of this major international commercial artery, according to The Guardian report on Wednesday (3/24/2021).
Ever Given, which is called “Mega Ship”, weighs 220,000 tons and is 400 meters long. The container ship was trapped near the southern end of the canal on Tuesday (3/23/2021). Several attempts to re-float it failed. Initial reports speculated that the ship had lost power.
But the ship’s operator, Evergreen Marine Corp, told Agence-France Presse that “the container accidentally ran aground after being hit by a strong gust of wind.” The company has urged ship owners to report the cause of the incident and has been in talks with relevant parties, including the canal’s managing authority, to help the ship as quickly as possible.
The Ever Given is a new category of ships called Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS). Some of them are even too big for the Panama Canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, according to a trade expert. The ship carrying hundreds of containers bound for Rotterdam from China is operated by the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen and is registered in Panama.
Image taken from another ship on the canal, Maersk Denver, shows Ever Given trapped on the corner opposite the waterway. That position made it difficult for the tugboat (tugboat) sent by the Egyptian authorities to try to free it. A mechanical excavator that appeared to be trying to dig into the ground to free the bow from her was restrained.
Julianne Cona, who posted a photo of Maersk on Instagram, has watched the drama of the “liberation” effort as her ship waits at anchor. “Hopefully it won’t be long before, but from the looks of it, the ship is very stuck,” she wrote. “They have a lot of winches that they try to pull and push over and over again, but to no avail … there are little bulldozers trying to dig out the bow.”
“After Ever Given ran aground, the ship behind his ship lost power and nearly hit us, so it was a ‘fun day,’ he joked. Several ships had ‘stuck’ in the old channel. In 2017, a Japanese ship stalled but was successfully refloated within hours A more serious incident occurred near the German port of Hamburg in 2016, when the massive Indian Ocean CSCL ran aground and required 12 tugs to free it in five days.
Vesselfinder’s delivery monitoring website showed that the affected ship was surrounded by smaller tugs attempting to free it from a buildup on course. The site shows another boat jam at both ends of the canal.
Trade regulator TankerTrackers tweeted that there were “many fully loaded tankers” trapped at both ends of the canal carrying Saudi, Russian, Omani and American oil. Usually ships set up convoys to cross the north and south of the Suez Canal.
The Ever Given was part of a convoy heading north when the incident occurred, according to the GAC shipping agency. The GAC reported that the ship was the fifth in the convoy heading north. none of the previous ships were affected. But the 15 ships behind him remained at anchor, waiting for the canal to be “cleared.”
The southern convoy is blocked. The Suez Canal is one of the most important river traffic in the world and connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and the sea routes to Asia. It is 120 miles (190 km) long, 79 feet (24 m) deep, and 673 feet (205 m) wide.
The canal can handle dozens of giant container ships every day, so a prolonged stoppage can cause serious delays. Nonetheless, shipping experts hope the giant ship will be released quickly.
Meanwhile, Flavio Macau, Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, said one problem is that container ships have gotten much larger in recent years – too big even for the Canal. from Panama. “Moving around 50 ships a day, the impact of the wreck is negligible unless it takes weeks for it to float back,” he said.
“But that (refloating) is highly unlikely and will end in a few days, at the most.” Mike Schuler, senior editor at shipping news site gcaptain, said it was unclear exactly what happened. But he pointed out that many tugs were moved there to free Ever Given.***