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The ship, crew and cargo that got blocked the Suez Canal are still stuck in Egypt. Here’s why

Deseret News logo Deseret News 6/16/2021 Aspen Pflughoeft
a boat sitting on top of a sandy beach: In this photo released by the Suez Canal Authority, tug boats and diggers work to free the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Ever Given, which is lodged across the Suez Canal, Sunday, March 28, 2021. © Associated Press In this photo released by the Suez Canal Authority, tug boats and diggers work to free the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Ever Given, which is lodged across the Suez Canal, Sunday, March 28, 2021.

For six days in March, the Ever Given container ship blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt. The ship got stuck in one of the world’s most important waterways, significantly disrupting global trade, reports the Deseret News.

  • The Ever Given turned sideways due to high winds and a sandstorm, blocking shipping traffic in both directions, per the Deseret News.

The Ever Given is no longer stuck across the canal but, almost three months later, the ship, crew and carge are still stuck in Egypt, CNN said.

Why is the crew of the Ever Given still in Egypt?

After freeing the Ever Given, Suez Canal authorities seized the ship and impounded it in the canal’s Great Bitter Lake, reported CNN. Canal authorities immediately filed a lawsuit against the Japanese ship owners, Shoei Kisen Kaisha.

  • Canal authorities filed a compensation claim for $916 million in damages and losses, said CNN.

As the legal battle ensues, the Ever Given crew has remained stuck aboard in Egypt, according to Foreign Policy. Local authorities have yet to determine the responsible party and, until they do, the ship and its crew will not be allowed to leave.

  • Ship crews often find themselves caught up in legal battles between ship owners and local governments, said Foreign Policy. Disputes can take years to resolve, leaving crews to wait on the ship until local authorities release them to resume traveling.

What products are still stuck in the Suez Canal?

The Suez Canal authorities have impounded all products on the Ever Given, a total of 18,300 containers worth between $600 and $700 million, said CNN.

  • Some of the companies with products on the Ever Given include IKEA, Lenovo, Snuggy UK, and Pearson 1860 bicycle maker, among others.

Why are these products still delayed?

Egyptian authorities will not release the Ever Given and the products onboard until legal compensation has been settled, said CNN. Companies with products on the ship will likely be required to pay a portion of the settlement.

  • By a maritime law called the “general average,” all companies with products on a ship must pay proportionally in the event of loss, said CNN.
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