Suez Canal Reopens, but Delay Damages Still an Obstacle

Shippers whose cargoes have been delayed by the grounding of the container ship Ever Given will likely face obstacles in recovering damages caused by the delay. The Ever Given, which is one of the world’s largest container ships at over 400 meters in length, ran aground on March 23, 2021, while transiting northbound in the Suez Canal, completely blocking all traffic. The 120-year-old Suez Canal is one of the world’s most transited waterways, and the consequences of the multiday disruption to ocean carrier traffic will be felt by shippers and consumers alike. To minimize the impact of delays caused by the Ever Given, some vessel operators with ships waiting to enter the canal rerouted ships around the Horn of Africa, which increases their operating costs and adds considerable time to each voyage, while other vessel operators stayed put, hoping the Ever Given would be refloated quickly.

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