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Suez Canal blocked – live: Ships divert around Africa as vessels ‘could be target for piracy and terrorism’

Rescue efforts to free cargo ship blocking Suez Canal

A number of ships appear to be changing course to avoid Egypt’s blocked Suez Canal and sail around the Cape of Good Hope instead.

The trip from Asia to Europe around the southern tip of Africa is longer, but operators may calculate their vessels will make better time on that route than waiting for the Ever Given to be refloated in Suez.

The backlog of ships caused by the container ship’s grounding in the Suez Canal has reached 248, according to experts from Lloyds List Intelligence.

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship operated by Taiwan’s Evergreen and owned by Shoei Kisen KK, a Japanese company, became wedged sideways across the vital waterway on Tuesday.

It comes as security experts voice fears about the potential for piracy and politically motivated sabotage as scores of ships remain stuck in two of the most volatile regions on Earth: the eastern Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa.

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Another ship appears to divert away from Suez Canal

Another ship appears to have diverted away from the blocked Suez Canal and headed for the Cape of Good Hope.

Michelle Wiese Bockmann, of Lloyds List, spotted the move.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 13:20

Ever Given owner denies report that it aims to dislodge vessel by Saturday night

Shoei Kisen, the Japanese owner of the Ever Given container ship blocking the Suez Canal, has denied a news report that it aims to free the vessel “tomorrow [Saturday] night Japan time”.

According to Reuters, the owner said refloating efforts were ongoing.

Chiara Giordano26 March 2021 13:08

Timelapse video shows efforts to refloat Ever Given

This interesting timelapse video from VesselFinder shows the efforts to refloat the Ever Given yesterday.

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Chiara Giordano26 March 2021 12:56

Ships appear to be changing course to avoid Suez Canal

The trip from Asia to Europe around the southern tip of Africa is longer, but operators may calculate that their vessels will make better time on that route than waiting for the Ever Given to be refloated in Suez.

The liquid natural gas carrier Pan Americas changed course in the mid-Atlantic, now aiming south to go around the southern tip of Africa, according to satellite data Friday from

And Lloyds List reported that the Ever Greet, a sister ship to the one stranded in the canal, had altered its heading and begun to sail for the cape.

Delays in passing through the canal could result in hefty insurance claims by companies, according to Marcus Baker, global head of marine and cargo at the insurance broker Marsh.

A ship like the Ever Given is usually covered at between $100m (£75.2m) and $200m, he said.

Chiara Giordano26 March 2021 12:23

Freight rates could rocket if disruption persists, expert warns

Rates for freight carriage could rise even as parts of the shipping sector have been struggling if the Ever Given disruption continues much longer, an expert has said.

Claire Grierson, senior director of tanker research at shipbrokers Simpson Spence Young, said: “The impact of the Suez Canal blockage on the tanker market is varying by segment.

“For very large crude carriers, it has yet to reach a point where replacement vessels for ships affected on a route through the canal are needed, but if the issue is not resolved over the weekend then it will become problematic.

“Some vessels in this segment [sail] northward through the Suez Canal, after completing voyages in the East, to lift cargoes from the Black Sea or the Mediterranean to go to Asia again, so a sustained canal disruption would have a significant impact on this voyage chain.

“Middle East Gulf clean tanker rates [for petroleum transport, rather than crude] had already started to trend higher prior to the blockage and charterers are asking for voyage options with routing via the Cape of Good Hope and the Suez Canal.

“This Cape rerouting could add as much as 20 days to a voyage from the Middle East Gulf to Rotterdam that would normally go via Suez.

“If the canal disruption is prolonged, the rerouting of tankers around the Cape of Good Hope will add greatly to voyage times, affecting vessel supply replenishment for some regions and this will boost freight rates at a time when many tanker segments have been struggling. If replacement vessels are needed, this will also cause rates to jump.”

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 12:11

Turkey offers to help shift Ever Given

Turkey can send its Nene Hatun vessel to help resolve a blockage on the Suez Canal, transport minister Adil Karaismailoglu said on Friday, amid a recent push by Ankara to repair its strained ties with Egypt after years of animosity.

“We have conveyed our offer to help to our Egyptian brothers and if a positive response comes from them, our Nene Hatun ship is among the few in the world that can carry out work of this nature,” Mr Karaismailoglu told broadcaster NTV, adding that Ankara had not received a response yet but was ready to act.

Earlier this month, Turkey said it had resumed contacts with Egypt. Ties have been frosty since Egypt’s army toppled a Muslim Brotherhood president close to president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2013.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 11:52

More satellite images show backlog of ships at Suez Canal

Scores of ships are waiting to enter the Suez Canal.

Satellite images from Airbus show the scale of the problem.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 11:33

‘Sitting ducks’: How the Suez Canal calamity could get even worse

There is a technical term for the 250 or so tankers loaded with billions of dollars worth of goods stuck on either side of Egypt’s Suez Canal in one of the most politically volatile and unstable regions of the world, writes Borzou Daragahi.

“We would call them sitting ducks,” said Joshua Hutchinson, general manager ARX Mouldings, a UK-based maritime security consultancy.

The quarter-mile-long MV Ever Given container ship that ran aground on Tuesday within the Suez Canal has held up billions of dollars worth of global commerce and has already driven up the price of oil, potentially hampering recovery of a world economy already battered by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 11:23

Backlog of ships ‘has reached nearly 250′

The backlog of ships caused by the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal has reached 248, according to data compiled by maritime industry experts Lloyds List Intelligence.

The blockage has increased by 22 per cent in terms of dead weight tonnage (DWT) – the measure of how much weight a ship can carry – and 14 per cent in terms of the number of vessels compared to 24 hours ago, the firm said.

In total the 248 vessels account for about 20.7 million DWT.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 11:08

Super-clear satellite image shows Ever Given predicament

This stunning, highly detailed satellite photo shows the Ever Given and the ships around her as workers try to re-float her.

Jon Sharman26 March 2021 10:45