Efforts to re-float the Evergiven resumed at high tide on Thursday, with five tugboats working to pull the ship into deeper waters, according to ship tracking data.
The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that the container ship – nearly the length of the Empire State Building – ran aground on Tuesday after being hit by winds of up to 40 knots and a sandstorm that caused poor visibility and poor navigation. .
The huge vessel, 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, continues to block passage in both directions through the main shipping channel.
The world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk, said Wednesday that seven of its container ships have been affected.
The Danish company said in a statement that four ships were stuck in the nearby canal system while the rest waited to enter the lane.
“Maersk is constantly monitoring the current situation in the Suez Canal and is closely following the efforts to resurface the affected vessel. Our provider of towing and safety services, Svitzer is participating in the ongoing rebooing operations at the request of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA),” the statement added.
Marine services company GAC issued a note to clients overnight saying that efforts to free the ship using tug boats are continuing, but that the wind conditions and the sheer size of the vessel “impede the operation”.
The ship tracking software shows five tugs flanking Ever Given and three others heading towards it. However, the ship’s GPS signal shows only minor changes in its position over the past 24 hours.
It backed dozens of ships, including other large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk ships transporting grain back up at either end of the canal to create one of the worst shipping bottlenecks seen in years.
Nearly 30% of the world’s shipping container volume passes through the 193 kilometers (120 miles) Suez Canal daily, and around 12% of the total global trade of all goods.
Shipping experts say that if the blockage is not likely to clear up within the next 24 to 48 hours, some shipping companies may have to reroute ships around the southern tip of Africa, adding about a week to the voyage.
However, the head of the Suez Canal Authority told the media that despite the embargo, some goods have managed to move south and efforts will continue to remove Ever Geffen.