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The head of the Suez Canal has warned that loaded containers will have to be unloaded

The head of the Suez Canal has warned that loaded containers will have to be unloaded

The head of the Suez Canal Authority has warned that there is no specific deadline for the release of the 220,000-ton container vessel that has blocked one of the major arteries of global trade, which could lead to efforts to unload its cargo. coming days.

Efforts continued on Saturday to release the Pre-Provided, with rescue experts deploying high-powered dredges and ropes, but Osama Rabie, the head of the authority, said he would call for a “plan C” – removing at least a few from the ship’s thousands of containers.

Moving from unloading from container vessels would likely delay the reopening of the canal for weeks, warning shipping and rescue experts, creating serious disruptions in supply chains for automotive parts and crude oil such as crude oil to children’s toys.

About 12% of all maritime trade passes through the Suez Canal, the fastest route from Europe to Asia. Dozens of oil tankers and oil tankers have already begun re-routing around Africa, which will add more than a week to the route, and some ships have been ordered to dump cargo at nearby ports.

Rabie said there was hope on Friday as he showed some signs of “responding” to the dredging effort and the multiple tugs that were deployed diagonally along the two sides of the canal to allow them to be dragged freely. He said the stern and rudder were moved.

But he added that the low tide had thwarted recent efforts.

The White House said Friday The US offered support Helping the Egyptian authorities to release the ship is a sign that concerns about the closure of the canal have reached the highest levels of government internationally.

But it is unclear what additional aid the U.S. can provide, with international rescue companies already in Egypt.

The logistics of unloading 40-meter containers, which can weigh up to 30 tonnes full, are very far from a height of almost 60m, as the accident happens far from any port infrastructure.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis – the owner of Smit Salvage, which has been working to free the ship – said late Friday that he hoped to release the ship early next week “but everything will have to come out exactly right”.

“The bow is actually stuck in the sand clay, but the stern isn’t completely into the clay, and that’s a positive thing,” Berdowski told Dutch television station Nieuwsuur on Friday, according to Reuters.

He added that heavier tugs were expected to arrive this weekend.

“We hope the combination of the tugs, the dredging of the sand in the bow and the high tide will allow us to release the boat,” Berdowski said.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s second-largest shipping group, said on Saturday that the world has “one of the biggest disruptions in global trade in recent years” and warned customers in the coming months that they expect “worsening supply chain reliability problems”. ”Even the channel can be unlocked quickly.

“Walking around Cape of Good Hope is an opportunity on some routes, in other cases it’s about working closely with our clients to see what other solutions we come up with,” said Caroline Becquart, MSC’s vice president.

“Unfortunately, even when it reopens due to the large delays of ships waiting to anchor the canal, access to some ports will increase and we could create new congestion problems.”

Rabies said the number of boats waiting to cross the canal has increased by about 320.

According to Lloyd’s List, more than $ 10 billion a day has been delayed in daily river and south canal entrances since it was stuck on Ever Given Tuesday.

Rabbi said Egypt was losing $ 14 million a day on the channels.

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