“All ships on hold” since the Ever Given grounding have left the waterway, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced on Saturday. “Admiral Ossama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, announced on Saturday that all the ships waiting in the canal since the grounding of the Panamanian container ship Ever Given had crossed” the Isthmus of Suez, according to a statement from authority.
Flying the Panamanian flag and operated by the Taiwanese shipowner Evergreen Marine Corporation, the giant ship – as long as four football fields – was refloated on March 29, after being immobilized for nearly a week.
The Ever Given was towed towards the Great Amer Lake in the middle of the Suez Canal and traffic resumed that same evening between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
An unprecedented incident
Unheard of in its scale, the incident brought traffic to a complete stop on this crucial sea route linking Asia and Europe and representing more than 10% of international trade.
A total of 422 ships, loaded with 26 million tonnes of cargo, SCA said, were stranded in the massive traffic jam.
Numbering 61, the last ships waiting since the passage of Ever Given were able to cross the canal on Saturday as well as “24 new ships”, according to the same press release. The first – more than a hundred – were able to use the canal on the night of March 29 to 30, a few hours after the mega-ship was refloated.
Nearly 19,000 ships used the canal in 2020, according to the SCA, an average of 51.5 ships per day.