Giant tanker runs aground in Suez Canal, blocking ship traffic

A giant container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking off traffic in both directions on one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes that’s vital for the movement of oil to liquefied natural gas.

The 400-metre long container ship Ever Given’s hull became wedged length-ways across the canal on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT), causing a pile-up of at least 100 vessels seeking to transit between the Red Sea and Mediterranean, according to ship brokers and mapping data compiled by Bloomberg.

The giant tanker stuck in the Suez Canal.Credit:Twitter/@marceldirsus

Ever Given, carrying goods from China to Rotterdam, ran aground early morning on Tuesday local time and tug boats are attempting to re-float the vessel, Leth Agencies, one of the top providers of Suez Canal crossing services, said in a notice to clients.

About 42 vessels either in the northbound convoy or arriving to transit the canal northbound are now waiting for the grounded vessel to be re-floated, according to Leth Agencies. About 64 vessels travelling southbound were also affected.

“There was a grounding incident” in the Suez Canal, said Alok Roy, fleet director of BSM Hong Kong, the Ever Given ship manager. There have been no reported injuries or pollution, he said.

The ship’s operator, Taiwan-based Evergreen Group, wasn’t immediately able to respond to a request for comment.

Ship tracking data showed the Ever Given still in the same position as of about 2am on Wednesday in Cairo. A spokesperson for the Suez Canal Authority couldn’t be reached for comment after midnight local time.

The Suez Canal is among the most trafficked waterways in the world, utilised by oil tankers shipping crude from the Middle East to Europe and North America.


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