The Ever Given Might Have To Shift Over 18,000 Containers To Other Ships

The legal complications and the damage to be paid is holding back the massive ship.

Egyptian authorities have held back the Ever Given massive ship that got stuck on the Suez Canal on 23rd March. The authorities have asked its operators to pay $1 billion in damages to get a free pass for their ship.

The legal limbo caused its operators to think about possibilities of loading the containers to other ships that are on their way to Europe. Transferring some 18,000 cargo containers is a nightmare in itself, a physical, legal, and logistical one.

The Ever Given ship, which belongs to Evergreen Marine Corp, was freed six days later when it ran aground on the Suez canal. However, she couldn’t leave the waterway as Egypt’s government had reservations to be catered first.

Alternate options are on the table to fit as a solution for the Taiwanese operator, EverGreen, faces. The brightest of the chances are that these containers would be transferred to other vessels as pressure is mounting. Customers are waiting anxiously for their long-stuck products, ranging from toilet papers to large furniture and whatnot.

“Customers are asking when their boxes will be delivered after the ship seizure, and the prospect of moving the containers to other ships and delivering them to the clients in Europe is now on the table,” an unnamed source directly involved in the matter told The Journal.

The efforts to re-locate the containers and thousands of tons of cargo to other ships would come with a high cost and a physical and logistical challenge for its operators.

“It won’t be easy to do, but there are several options,” the same source told The Journal. “Empty ships can be deployed to pick up boxes, and some can be loaded to other container ships crossing on the same route to Europe.”

While studying the Egyptian court order, the Marine Corps found that the vessel and the cargo could be treated as separate entities. Earlier this month, the ship’s owner filed a claim against the vessel’s operator that stated to share the risks and costs involved in Ever Given’s recovery.

This photo released by the Suez Canal Authority on Thursday, March 25, 2021, shows two tugboats next to the Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, after it become wedged across the Suez Canal and blocking traffic in the vital waterway from another vessel. An operation is underway to try to work free the ship, which further imperiled global shipping Thursday as at least 150 other vessels needing to pass through the crucial waterway idled waiting for the obstruction to clear. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

Two Maritime lawyers said earlier this week, “The seizure of the Ever Given and compensation demand for salvage and other expenses by Egypt’s canal authority escalates the complexity and cost for the numerous cargo owners with property in transit aboard the vessel.”

The massive ship was on its way to Europe from Asia when it got stuck, causing massive delivery delays and a huge traffic jam on the Suez canal. Almost 400 other ships were stuck behind, which later got running on their journey to Europe.

Evergreen Marine Corp hasn’t disclosed the customers whose shipments have been long stuck on the Ever Given massive ship; however, companies like Ikea and Germany-based supermarket Aldi have already stated bearing losses due to the incident.

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