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The Suez canal authority informed shipping agencies that convoys of ships would resume running both ways through the canal from Monday 7 pm (17:00 GMT).
Shipping traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal resumed on Monday after the world's largest container ship that had blocked the busy waterway for almost a week was refloated. The massive container ship surrounded by tug boats was shown on local TV, moving slowly in the canal's center.
“Admiral Osama Rabie, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority [SCA], announces the resumption of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal after the Authority successfully rescues and floats the giant Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN," the statement said.
Early last week, the 400-meter long Ever Given had gotten jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in strong winds during a sand storm, bringing to a complete stop all maritime traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
At least 369 vessels have been waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels the SCA’s Admiral Osama Rabie said. He also added that they would accelerate convoys through the canal once the Ever Given was freed.
After a days-long blockage, the stranded #EverGiven has been refloated in the Suez Canal.
Follow this thread for a wrap-up of the event that captivated the world and halted millions in global trade revenue pic.twitter.com/dVxssaiPyI
He commented that it could take from two-and-a-half to three days to clear the backlog, and a canal source said more than 100 ships would be able to enter the channel daily. Shipping group Maersk said the disruptions to global shipping could take weeks or months to unravel.
Meanwhile, dozens of vessels opted for the alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip – a 5,000km (3,100-mile) detour that adds two weeks to journeys and costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other expenses.
About 15 percent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, an essential source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt. The stoppage is costing the canal $14m-$15m a day.
Shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship became stranded, and the blockage has disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for companies already dealing with COVID-19 restrictions.