AUTHORITIES are prepared to make new attempts the weekend of March 27 to move the mammoth Ever Given vessel that has blocked the Suez Canal.
The Ever Given's owners said a gust of wind pushed the ship and its huge cargo of more than 20,000 shipping containers sideways, which as a result is has interrupted global trade.
How much does it cost for a ship to pass through the Suez Canal?
The Suez Canal is one of the world's most important routes, and it's costing $400million per hour in delayed goods, Lloyd's List reported.
The canal, which runs through Egypt, provides a vital shipping route that connects Europe to Asia.
Lloyd's List, a London-based shipping-news journal, estimated the value of cargo goods passing through the canal every day at $9.7billion on average, with $5.1billion traveling west and $4.6billion traveling east.
The average number of vessels passing through the canal each day is 93, meaning that nearly 300 vessels have already been blocked thus far.
Transportation companies are warning that disruption in global commerce could be felt for months ahead.
How long has the Ever Given boat been stuck at the Suez Canal?
The Ever Given, which is weighs about 224,000 tons and is 1,300 feet long, slightly larger than the Empire State Building, ran aground the morning of March 23 and is stuck diagonally across the canal.
Crews have attempted to clear the sand and mud from around the ship, while tugboats have tried to shift the vessel, however, none of those attempts have worked.
The massive vessel got stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal a few miles from its southern entrance.
A maritime traffic jam grew to around 280 vessels on March 27 outside the Suez Canal, according to canal service provider Leth Agencies.
Some vessels began changing course and dozens of ships were still en route to the waterway, according to the data firm Refinitiv.
Some 19,000 vessels passed through the canal last year, according to official figures.
About 10 percent of world trade flows through the canal, which is particularly crucial for transporting oil.
When is the Ever Given expected to be freed?
It remains unclear how long the blockage will last.
The determination to free the vessel the weekend of March 27 has failed.
Salvagers' best chance may arrive on Monday, March 29, when a spring tide will raise the canal's water level by up to 18 inches, analysts and shipping agents said.
The ship’s technical manager, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said that larger tugboats have arrived to help, with two more due on March 28.
Several dredgers are digging around the vessel’s bow, and high-capacity pumps will draw water from the vessel’s ballast tanks to lighten the ship, the company said.
Are there animals on board the Ever Given ship?
At least 20 ships stuck in the Suez Canal jam are hauling livestock – sparking fears about the animals' safety as the Ever Given vessel continues to block maritime traffic.
The farm-bound vessels – some of which were loaded in Spain and Romania weeks ago – “all appear to be stuck at various points in the canal,” a spokesman for the tracking website Marine Traffic and other sources told The Guardian.
“My greatest fear is that animals run out of food and water and they get stuck on the ships because they cannot be unloaded somewhere else for paperwork reasons,” said Gerit Weidinger, European Union coordinator for Animals International.
“It’s basically a ticking biohazard timebomb for animals and the crew and any person involved."
Officials said there were no concerns about the immediate welfare of the animals, but Weidinger feared they would die if the journey was delayed much longer.
“Getting stuck on board means there is a risk of starvation, dehydration, injuries, waste build up so they can’t lie down, and nor can the crew get rid of dead animal bodies in the [Suez] canal,” she said.
Five of the vessels picked up animals in Spain, and nine had loaded them in Romania earlier this month, according the NGO Animals International.
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