The container ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal has been refloated, and its position moved about 80%, but maneuvers will continue this morning around high tide, the Canal Authority said.
This significant development, according to the French News agency, occurred after the removal of more than 27,000 cubic meters of sand from the riverbank in the past 24 hours.
It’s the first step to clearing the blockage in one of the world’s most important trade arteries.
“Today we will start our plan for all the ships to cross the canal, and it could take around one week to get all ships out of the Suez canal corridor,” Mohab Mamish, president’s adviser for the canal authority, told Bloomberg.
— Mackay Taggart (@mackaytaggart) March 29, 2021
More than 450 ships have been stuck, waiting or en route to the canal. The backlog is one more strain for global supply chains already stretched by the pandemic as the canal is a conduit for about 12% of global trade. Some ships have already opted for the long and expensive trip around the southern tip of Africa instead of Suez.
Oil prices retreated, with West Texas Intermediate losing as much as 1.9%.