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Suez Canal crisis — live: Tugs join refloat effort as IKEA among companies hit by supply chain logjam

File footage shows Evergreen ship on Suez Canal

IKEA is among the hundreds of companies whose cargo is being held up by the Suez Canal blockage.

The incident could “create constraints in our supply chain”, the Swedish furniture company told CNN.

More than 100 IKEA containers are reportedly queuing behind the MV Ever Given on the waterway and in surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, Suez Canal authorities have conceded that technical or human error could have contributed to the mega-ship becoming stuck.

Read more:

At a Suez Canal Authority press conference, rescuers working towards dislodging the ship admitted that a “technical fault” or human error are possibilities, but maintained high winds and sandstorms are the most likely major contributing factors. An investigation will be conducted, they added.

Rescuers have had “some positive results” they said at the press conference in Suez, Egypt. The ship was “a bit responsive” to tugboats, which have been trying to dislodge the ship, they said.

Heavy tugboats have resumed trying to move the Ever Given as of this afternoon. Other options, such as using a crane to remove some of the ship’s cargo, are also being considered.


Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 16:50

Ever Given ‘began to move’ during refloat attempts

The Ever Given has budged slightly since first becoming stuck, authorities have said.

Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said at a press conference today: “The ship’s stern began to move towards Suez, and that was a positive sign until 11pm at night, but the tide fell significantly and we stopped.”

“We expect that at any time the ship could slide and move from the spot it is in.”

Tugboats have been attempting to help refloat the mega-ship. Their efforts resumed this afternoon.

Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 16:35

Boat blocking Florida freeway inspires Suez Canal memes

As if one boat blocking a transport thoroughfare wasn’t enough, a 38-foot-long boat landed in the middle of a Florida interstate this week.

The pink-and-white vessel accidentally became detached from from the pick-up truck hauling it along Interstate 10, near Crestview.

The boat blocked traffic on the freeway for hours before it was removed by Florida Highway Patrol.

The incident has sparked comparisons to the Suez Canal crisis and inspired lots of memes.

Read Greg Evans’s roundup here:

Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 16:05

Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 15:37

Syria suffering fuel shortages as a result of blockage

Syria’s Oil Minister has said it has had to ration the distribution of fuel as a result of the Suez Canal blockage.

Before this incident, sanctions from Western countries already limited the fuel supply in the war-torn country, but the shipment of oil has further reduced as a result of the well-wedged Ever Given ship.

Bethany Dawson27 March 2021 15:01

Efforts to free boat have resumed

Attempts to refloat the Ever Given shipping container resumed at roughly 14:30 local time – 12:30 pm GMT – taking advantage of the high tide.

If this attempt is not successful, another push will be made on Sunday morning.

Bethany Dawson27 March 2021 14:34

Bethany Dawson27 March 2021 14:16

Authorities unable to give timeframe for moving boat

The Suez Canal Authority has said they are currently unable to offer a timeframe for when the Ever Given ship may be unstuck.

Previous estimates have stated that it could take weeks for the vessel to be moved.

Bethany Dawson27 March 2021 14:09

Rescuers say ship could have become stuck due to ‘technical fault’

A Suez Canal Authority rescue team has said that a “technical fault” or human error could have contributed to the Ever Given becoming stuck.

The Authority has stressed that they do not yet know exactly why the ship got stuck, but have said that strong winds and storms are among the most likely reasons.

Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 13:50

Ever Given was ‘not too big’ for Suez Canal, rescuers say

Rescue teams have dismissed the suggestion that the Ever Given was too big to travel on the Suez Canal.

They said that the vessel in front of it was bigger, carrying 2,040 tonnes of cargo.

The Suez Canal is “quite capable to accommodate even bigger vessels than this one,” they said.

They added that they anticipate an investigation into the reasons why the Ever Given got stuck.

Joanna Taylor27 March 2021 13:47