We just received word the M/V Ever Given has been refloated in the Suez Canal! Although the ship has been refloated, teams are engaged in the next phase to survey damage, arrange a tow out of the narrow canal and move the vessel to safe waters for further survey. Also, the canal itself will need to be surveyed to be sure it is safe for other vessels to transit the canal. This could take a period of days but will continue to update as developments occur.
Estimates vary from four to six days to clear the backlog at the canal once it is open. Further diversions of vessels in the queue are being considered which could add 10 to 14 days to transit times. Most of the ships from Asia are headed for European ports but there are some services from Asia that take a Suez route to the U.S. East Coast. We are watching those and pressing carriers for updated ETAs. We will advise customers as soon as updates are available but as you can imagine the situation is still quite fluid.
Sample of ocean carrier perspectives include:
MSC - "Companies should expect the Suez blockage to lead to a constriction in shipping capacity and equipment, and consequently, some deterioration in supply chain reliability issues over the coming months.......... We envisage the second quarter of 2021 being more disrupted than the first three months, and perhaps even more challenging than it was at the end of last year."
Maersk - “For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase,” Maersk said in a Saturday update. “We have already started to proactively manage our capacity and will not be accepting cargo where we cannot ensure space.”
THE Alliance (H Lloyd, Yang Ming, ONE, and HMM) is rerouting three Asia–Europe vessels and three Asia–US East Coast ships around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
In spite of these efforts, this will result in further vessel bunching at some ports, greater port congestion, and additional strain on container availability for both imports and exports.
We will be updating ETAs for specific shipments impacted as soon as the information is available. This will add more uncertainty to the supply chains of many shippers. All shippers should be prepared to make adjustments in your planning as the full impact of this situation unfolds.
photo credit: Julianne Cona (fallenhearts17Instagram)