The speed of the Ever Given, a container ship that blocked the Suez Canal earlier in March was being controlled by the Egyptian waterway’s operator when it got stuck, the ship’s insurer confirmed on Thursday.
The Shoei Kisen-owned, one of the world’s largest container ships ‘Ever Given’ is still being held as the owner and the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) continues compensation talks. The final court verdict is now set for June 20.
Ever Given’s insurers and owners have disputed the container ship’s compensation claim and detention. Their lawyers have opined that the SCA was to blame. This is because they had permitted the ship to enter the waterway and had not offered suitable tugs.
The speed of the 400-meter-long ship that had blocked the Suez Canal on March 23 was in the dominance of the Egyptian waterway’s operator when it ran aground. This is what the vessel’s insurer claimed on Thursday.
Osama Rabie, the SCA Chairperson, reportedly mentioned that ship was sailing at 25 kph instead of the appropriate 8-9 kph. He added that its rudder was misaligned and it could also have chosen to not enter the canal.
Initially, the SCA demanded $916 million in compensation from the Japanese owner. But it has agreed to accept $550 million, including a $200 million deposit for securing the ship’s release. The SCA has also offered payment terms to the owners of the container ship, but they are yet to respond.
The canal’s blockade has disrupted global shipping as hundreds of vessels have been delayed. Some vessels were forced to reroute around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. This incurred both additional fuel and cost.
An estimated 10% of the world’s trade flows through the Suez Canal, a pivotal source of foreign currency to Egypt, with approximately 19,000 ships making the passage in the previous year, per official figures.