The Ever Given ship is famous for blocking the Suez canal. The big 1,312-foot-long ship blocked the canal for 6 whole days while other ships waited for it to be freed. The blockage meant delays in everything from oil to foods to clothing and even computer parts. Now although the ship has been freed from the canal, who will free the ship from the Suez Canal Authority?
That’s right the Ever Given has been detained by the Suez Canal Authority or SCA so the ship hasn’t left the area even after so many months. The future of the ships depends on whether the Japanese shipowner Shoei Kisen and the SCA can come to an agreement. Both parties have been going back and forth ever since the ship was freed.
The SCA says that it was the ship’s fault that it got blocked and must pay compensation for the losses incurred over 6 days. They initially demanded a whopping sum of $916m if the owner wanted the ship back. Thus both parties have been negotiating the price since. Shoei Kisen tried to take the matter to court but failed in its latest attempt. The shipowner said that the SCA was responsible for the huge 400 m long vessel grounding in the first place.
The stance Shoei Kisen and its lawyers went for, was that the ship should have been accompanied by at least two tug boats suitable for the ship’s size for the transit during stormy conditions. They also claimed that the SCA was illegally detaining the ship and even sent them a $100,000 claim for losses incurred due to the ship’s detention.
The court dismissed all claims which prompted SCA chairman Osama Rabie to give a more flexible offer to finally free the ship. The SCA has made countless offers over the time the ship was detained. From the initial $916m they went to $600m. Now the amount has been further slashed to $500m with the SCA saying that it would accept a deposit of $200m to get the ship out.
The rest of the amount can be paid separately. Shoei Kisen has yet to reply to the latest offer but we do know that the next court hearing is scheduled for 29th May. Given how the negotiations are going, the next hearing may finally decide the ship’s future.