Egypt has seized the 200,000 tons and 1,312 ft long Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week. The move was made as part of the compensation the country is owed for nearly a weeklong shutdown.
On March 23, the Japanese-owned container ship Ever Given was traveling from Malaysia to the Netherlands when it got diagonally stuck on one of the global key shipping lanes; the Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal is located just 75 miles from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and allows a reliable shipping route from Europe to Asia. About 11% of the global shipping traffic passes through this artificial waterway.
Ever Given remained stuck for six days in Suez Canal and prevented any sort of maritime transport through the region. This meant a loss of hundreds of dollars worth of oil, food, clothing, industrial raw material, etc.
Egyptian engineers and an elite Dutch salvage team worked continuously to figure out the cause of the problem and fix the ship. According to one estimate, the Egyptian government suffered a loss of $95 in transit fees.
Soon after the ship's freedom on March 29, a dispute broke out between the Egyptian government and the vessel's Japanese owner regarding how much compensation the country is owed.
On April 7, the Suez Canal Authority issued a claim for $916 million owed by the ship owners as compensation, $300 million for "loss of reputation," and $300 million for "salvage bonus" as part of the claim.
Ever Given is backed up by liability coverage of $3 billion through a shipping program based on Protection and Indemnity Insurance.
Though the Egyptian authorities point out the damages to the canal banks, rescue operation charges, and revenue losses to support their argument, the Ever Given group states that there isn't any solid justification for Egypt's nearly $1 billion demand.
Since the Ever Given was displaced from the Suez Canal, it has been anchored in Great Bitter Lake, India. The 25 Indian crew members are unfortunately stuck onboard for the time being.
The seizure ruling was made by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which states that Egypt's trade law permits the confiscation of vessels that fail to pay the costs of an accident.
While the Ever Given is fit according to the American Bureau of Shipping inspections, the SCA insists that the ship won't advance until compensations have been paid. Meanwhile, Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the Japanese company that owns Ever Given, has filed a lawsuit to decrease its liability in the incident and states that it's "in the middle of negotiations" with the SCA.