The owner of the container ship Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for some time in March, has made a new offer of compensation to canal authority SCA. As a result, the parties have been given more time to negotiate on the compensation to be paid.
Initially, a judge was supposed to rule on the matter on Sunday 20 June, but this has been postponed for a fortnight.
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 seized due to disagreements between its owners and the SCA over compensation for the damage.
Offer not disclosed
Exactly how much money has been offered has not been disclosed. The SCA reportedly asked for more than USD 916 million, but later said it would settle for USD 550 million. The Japanese owner of the Ever Given, Shoei Kisen Kaisha (SKK), is said to have offered USD 150 million in compensation. But the SCA said that was not enough to cover the cost of lost fares, damage to the canal and manpower and equipment costs of salvaging the ship.
The blockade 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 USD 10 billion worth of goods pass through the canal every day.
Picture by the SCA.