April 13, 2024

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With Ship Now Freed, Investigations Into Suez Canal Blockage Begins

Suez, Mar 30: Experts on Tuesday boarded the massive container ship that had blocked Egypt’s vital Suez Canal and disrupted global trade for nearly a week, seeking answers to a single question that could mean billions of dollars in legal implications: What went wrong? As convoys of ships again began traveling in this artery linking East and West through the Mediterranean and Red Seas, hundreds more idled waiting for their turn in a process that will take days.

Egyptian government officials, insurers, shippers, and others similarly waited for more details about what caused the skyscraper-sized Ever Given to become wedged across the canal’s southern single-lane on March 23. When blame gets assigned, it could turn into years of litigation over the costs of repairing the ship, fixing the canal, and reimbursing those who saw their cargo shipments disrupted.

And with the vessel being owned by a Japanese firm, operated by a Taiwanese shipper, flagged in Panama, and now stuck in Egypt, matters quickly become an international morass. “This ship is a multinational conglomeration,” said Capt. John Konrad, the founder, and CEO of the shipping news website gcaptain.com.