Settlement allows giant containership to resume journey
A huge containership that ran aground in the Suez Canal in March has resumed its journey after the vessel’s owners reached an agreement with the Suez Canal Authority to settle a financial dispute.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which has an office in Bermuda and is the technical managers of the MV Ever Given, said the vessel and its crew are now travelling northward through the Suez Canal having departed Great Bitter Lake, where the vessel was held for the past three months due to a legal dispute, after it caused a six-day blockage of the canal.
The Ever Given is registered in Panama, and is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. It is 400 metres long and had a gross weight of 200,000 tonnes.
The vessel will stop at Port Said, Egypt, where further precautionary hull inspections will take place, including a dive survey. Once completed, the Ever Given will depart Egypt bound for the next port of call where the cargo on-board will be discharged.
Ian Beveridge, chief executive officer at BSM, said: “We are very pleased that the Ever Given can finally continue her voyage. BSM would like to take this opportunity to thank the Master and crew for their resilience and professionalism throughout this period.”
The ship was travelling north through the Suez Canal, en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands, when it ran aground on March 23. Efforts to refloat the vessel were successful six-days later.
The UK Club, which insured the owner of Ever Given for certain third-party liabilities, said: “From the outset the UK Club, together with the ship’s owners and other insurers, has been focused on reaching a fair and amicable settlement with the SCA that would allow the ship, her crew and her cargo to resume their voyage. After more than three months of negotiations we are pleased that an agreement was reached which has allowed the ship to leave the Suez Canal.”
It acknowledged the work and expertise of the SCA “and others” whose professionalism and dedication resulted in the ship being refloated within seven days of her going aground in the canal.
The UK Club said: “Over the last three months we, along with the ship’s owners and other interests, have worked closely with the SCA’s negotiations team to achieve today’s results.
“We would also like to thank the network of lawyers and advisers who worked tirelessly to defend the owners’ interests, as well as the International Chamber of Shipping, who took an early interest in the matter and whose network of international connections provided invaluable support in the negotiation process.”
It also acknowledged the ship’s crew and their families who had been living in a state of uncertainty since the ship grounded, with the crew continuing duties on-board and “working closely with the SCA, salvors, investigators, lawyers and countless others, and throughout it all have consistently displayed a patient professionalism that is truly admirable”.
We are a regular and committed customer of the Suez Canal, and we would like to place on record our thanks to the Suez Canal Authority and others who worked tirelessly to release the ship as swiftly as possible when she ran aground over three months ago. We are also pleased that our company’s excellent relationship with the Suez Canal Authority has been maintained and even strengthened through this experience. Our company has a large fleet of ships and will continue to be a regular and loyal customer of the Suez Canal.
We recognise the tremendous importance of the goods carried by our vessels and we regret the impact that the voyage delay has had on those with cargo stuck on-board but we can assure all cargo interests that throughout this matter every effort has been made to minimise the delay and to secure the release of the vessel as quickly as possible.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, the owner of the ship, in a statement said: “We are pleased that our company’s excellent relationship with the Suez Canal Authority has been maintained and even strengthened through this experience.
“We recognise the tremendous importance of the goods carried by our vessels and we regret the impact that the voyage delay has had on those with cargo stuck on-board, but we can assure all cargo interests that throughout this matter every effort has been made to minimise the delay and to secure the release of the vessel as quickly as possible.”