An Egyptian court has postponed a hearing on compensation for the container ship Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal in March, to 20 June. More time is being given for the parties to negotiate the claim amount. In the meantime, the Suez Canal Authority has released a video of the refloating operation of the Ever Given.
The Ever Given was refloated at the end of March after blocking the important shipping route between Asia and Europe for six days. The ship, which was on its way to Rotterdam, became stuck in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes after a sandstorm. The 400-metre ship has since been anchored in a wider section of the canal. The Ever Given was impounded due to disagreements between its owners and the canal authority SCA over compensation.
SCA had previously asked for compensation of over 916 million dollars, but now wants 550 million dollars. It is alleged that incorrect calculations were made about the value of the cargo on board the ship, resulting in a lower amount. The insurers of the Ever Given say that this is still too high.
The Japanese owner of the Ever Given had previously offered 150 million dollars in compensation. SCA says that is not enough to cover the cost of lost fares, canal damage and manpower and equipment costs of salvaging the ship. The hearing that has now been postponed, was originally scheduled for Sunday 30 May.
SCA’s lawyer says efforts are being made to reach a settlement and that is why a postponement of the hearing was requested. The lawyer of the owner of the Ever Given said that negotiations are taking place and that there is flexibility on both sides.
The blockage caused long queues of ships on both sides of the 193-kilometre waterway between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. More than 350 ships had to wait before they could pass through. Some of the ships on their way to the Suez Canal decided to sail around Africa. Normally, almost 10 billion dollars worth of goods pass through the canal every day.
The SCA has now also released a video of the refloating operation of the Ever Given, which can be seen below.
Picture by SCA.