Ever Given’s owner and charterer facing $1 billion in damages from Suez Canal Authority

Apr 1, 2021 | BUSINESS

The state-owned authority operating the Suez Canal is to offer a discount to those ships left stranded after traffic in the narrow but vital sea route was snarled up by a gigantic container ship that ran aground.

The discounts are expected to vary from 5% to 15%, depending on the length of time a vessel was stuck, after Ever Given, one of the world’s biggest cargo ships, blocked it for nearly a week, according to Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie.

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The official highlighted that the SCA expects to get over $1 billion in damages from Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ever Given’s Japanese owner and Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine, the vessel’s charterer.

According to Rabia, the figure represents a rough estimate of financial losses linked to transit fees, damages inflicted during the dredging and salvage efforts, the cost of the equipment, and labor. Nearly 800 people working for six days straight were reportedly involved in the rescue operation.

Rabia revealed that the value of the cargo on board is estimated at $3.5 billion, not counting the vessel itself, which will remain docked until an investigation over the accident is completed. The SCA is planning to extract the data recorder of Ever Given to find out exactly what happened.

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This photo released by the Suez Canal Authority shows tug boats and dredgers working to free the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Ever Given, which is lodged across the Suez Canal, Sunday, March 28, 2021.
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“The company that owns the ship is cooperating. There are no problems. We hope on mutual agreement. If they do not agree, then we will have to take legal action, and arrest the ship,” Rabia said.

The Suez Canal – one of the world’s major trade waterways, accounting for about 15% of all shipping traffic – remained blocked for six days, after Ever Given was wedged across the route. The blockage placed immense pressure on supply chains, and could reportedly have cost global trade up to $10 billion a week.

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