Grounded ’Mega Ship’ Blocking Suez Canal in Both Directions – gCaptain
An ultra-large containership is aground and blocking ship traffic in the Suez Canal.
AIS data shows the MV Ever Given is stuck sideways towards the south end of the canal near Suez, Egypt, preventing ships from passing in either direction. Several tugs have been on scene for several hours working to dislodge the ship.
Shipping agent GAC reports that the grounding occurred at 7:40 a.m. local time on Tuesday (March 23) at kilometer 151 after the vessel suffered a black out while transiting.
It seems the Ever Given had just begun its transit of the waterway as part of a northbound convoy when the incident occurred.
“The 199,489 GT ship was fifth in the northbound convoy. None of the vessels before it were affected, but the 15 behind it were detained at anchorages waiting for the Canal to be cleared. The southbound convoy was also blocked,” GAC reported.
An AIS screengrab from MarineTraffic.com shows the Ever Given’s position within the Suez Canal.
At 400-meters-long and a little over 20,000 TEU capacity, the Panama-registered MV Ever Given is among the largest of so-called “mega ships”, aka ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs), currently in operation.
The MV Ever Given is underway to Rotterdam from China.
Today’s grounding recalls other groundings involving UCLVs in recent years. In February 2016, the 399-meter CSCL Indian Ocean, a 19,100 TEU containership, was stuck for five days after running aground on the Elbe River near the port of Hamburg. It took as many 12 tugs to refloat the ship. In another incident in the Suez Canal, the 21,000 TEU OOCL Japan grounded in 2017 following a mechanical failure, but was refloated within a few hours and its impact was minimal.
Ultimately, how long the Ever Given remains stuck now depends on how hard aground she is and how favorable the tides are, or aren’t (tides on the south end can be range up to 1.9 meters). Whichever way it goes, we should know pretty soon considering the enormous importance of the waterway for global trade.