Middle EastOperations

Suez Canal backlog cleared, accident report due this week

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) announced over the weekend it had managed to clear the backlog of more than 400 ships waiting to transit the waterway in the wake of the grounding of the 20,388 teu containership Ever Given 13 days ago.

The chairman of the SCA, Osama Rabie, said on Saturday that an investigation into what caused the Shoei Kisen Kaisha-owned vessel to run aground is due to wrap up soon. The ship is anchored in the Great Bitter Lake.

The authority is expected to publish its findings early this week.

On Thursday, Rabie warned Egypt might seek $1bn in compensation following the six-day grounding of the giant Evergreen-operated ship. Rabie said the ship and its cargo will not be allowed to leave the country if the issue goes to court.

Shoei Kisen has declared General Average whereby cargo owners will need to contribute funds to get their goods with Richards Hogg Lindley appointed as adjuster. It has been widely reported that Shoei Kisen has employed law firm HFW to file a claim in England’s High Court.

Evergreen Marine, the ship’s operator, stated in a release it has received a notice from the lawyer representing Shoei Kisen, which specified that the owner had filed an Admiralty limitation claim at the High Court of Justice in the UK in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, in view of the liabilities and compensation that may occur due to the grounding incident. In the appendix of the filing, the owner listed Evergreen Marine and several other potential claimants as defendants and notified them accordingly.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. The full technical, operational, commercial and managerial ramifications of what actually happened needs to be doe meticulously but quickly. to avoid repetition.

    The tsunami of ill informed mass media comment onn the whole incident was a worrying side show to the whole incident with far too much speculation about impacts. Re-sequencing vessels, schedules, load patterns and call cycles is not rocket scie3nce but seemed to be prortrayted as some sort of Armageddon scenario likely to bring the world to its knees.
    The rapid rise (continuing) of ship size must be something the canal authorities now need to consider with possible mandatory use of tugs for certain ship sizes and weather combinations.

  2. It would be too optimistic to expect a full investigation report within a week. A preliminary report might be possible.

    Flag States usually take anything between 18 months to 24 months to release the final report.

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