Breaking: Suez blockage sets shipping rates racing, oil and gas tankers diverted away
The Suez Canal stepped up efforts on Friday to free a stuck mega vessel, after an earlier attempt failed to end a blockage that has lifted shipping rates for fuel tankers and scrambled global supply chains for everything from grains to baby clothes.
Shipping rates for oil product tankers have nearly doubled this week and several vessels were diverted away from the Suez Canal as a giant container ship remained wedged between both banks on Friday.
All its 25 crew members, who have remained on board, were safe, in good health and spirits, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the Ever Given’s technical manager said.
The Dutch rescue team had confirmed two additional tugs would arrive on March 28 to help dislodge the ship after an attempt to re-float it on Friday failed, BSM said.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said efforts to free the ship by tug had resumed following the completion of dredging operations at its bow to remove 20,000 cubic meters of sand.
The suspension of traffic along the channel linking Europe and Asia has deepened problems for shipping lines already facing coronavirus-related disruption in supplying retail goods to consumers.
The blockage could cost global trade $6 billion to $10 billion a week, a study by German insurer Allianz showed on Friday.