world's largest container ship
Ever Given Freed

After days of intense effort by marine experts the world’s largest container ship – Ever Given owned by ‘Evergreen Company’ regained her freedom. This comes as the subject ship got stuck while navigating through one of the world’s busiest routes, which, according to reports was going beyond the average Speed Trans due to gust wind, and thus, 13 knot instead of the stipulated 8 knot.  

The Suez Canal which was developed for economic purposes, aimed at minimizing the cost of shipping and ship transit to navigate from Asia across Egypt to Europe, eliminating the need to go through Africa.

Going by expert’s prediction and analysis, they had predicted it would take the subject ship ‘Ever Given’ at least weeks before she will be free from the canal. With reports emerging from captain ‘John Konrad’ who had made his analysis from a captain’s point of view, noted that these ships have gone incredibly larger for just in last ten (10) years – from about 10 thousand container ship to 20 thousand container ships. But as this increased, the International Maritime Organization located in London has not ensured the requirements are put in place.

In his analysis, with reference to the world’s largest container ship, weighing up the challenges noted that the organization (IMO) did not increase the crew size, and have not put the requirements for technology on the ship. This implies that you have significantly bigger ships, but the same size of crew, the same technology, and really the same tugboats and equipment is used in navigating these ships.

The subject ship (Ever Given) is loaded on-board with goods worth $10 billion and had blocked the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ since 23 March 2021, while the delays are impacting the shipping economy which analyst confirmed will cost billions of dollars. This is owing to the fact that ships accessing Europe via ‘Suez Canal’ would have to travel for just 7,000 km (draft), alternatively, the way around the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ would mean 20,000 km. Should ships take the alternate route! It will impact negatively the shipping economy.

world's largest container ship

Based on expert analysis, it was noted that the ship is about 60 meters longer than the biggest aircraft carrier in the world but it’s also the weight and doubling the number of containers on-board. At the moment these ships weigh 200 to 300 percent more than what they weigh 10 years ago coupled with 10 to 20 years old technology on-board.  

To free the 400 meters long container ship, experts tried to do what they can with the aid of a vacuum excavator noting that the length of the ship is more than the width of the Suez Canal. Going forward, the ship was eventually freed and positioned at the center of the canal with the aid of tugboats.

The delays, of course, impacted negatively on the shipping companies that pay the operating cost for ships that had to wait, which in the process added damages to the supply chain. This was equally part of the risk it posed to the supply chain, owing to the fact that some countries, like Germany, is open to supply chain.

Meanwhile, Egypt is considered the biggest loser when it comes to revenue loss, this is because the subject country receives the largest revenue from the Suez Canal, while on the other hand, this is dependent on the number of ships that chose to sail around Africa via the canal that was postponed since the route was blocked by the world’s largest container ship. Though we cannot quantify the economic loss for Egypt, obviously there will be some loss of revenue for the Egyptian economy.

So, what more do we know about Ever Given’s impact on the global supply chain?