The queue of hundreds of ships that built up around the Suez Canal after the grounding of the MV Ever Given vessel has been cleared, Egyptian authorities said.
The final 85 ships passed through the waterway on Saturday, the Suez Canal Authority said on its Facebook page, adding that the operation demonstrated its ability to manage emergencies.
Overall, 422 vessels passed through since the tanker was freed on Monday last week, after blocking the canal for almost a week.
The 400m-long Ever Given, owned by Japan’s Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd, ran aground on March 23 in the southern part of the canal. The waterway handles about 12 percent of world commerce.
Its blockage snarled supply chains already under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and provided a stark reminder of the fragility of global trade infrastructure.
The canal normally handles about 50 ships a day, but had to increase that figure to 80 to 90 to clear the backlog.
Egypt plans to seek about US$1 billion in compensation for lost transit fees and damages, the Canal Authority said on Wednesday. It did not specify who should provide the compensation.
Most of the vessels waiting were bulk carriers — which transport unpackaged cargo such as grains, coal and iron ore — and container ships, said Leth Agencies, which provides Suez Canal crossing services.
There were about 75 crude oil and chemical tankers, it said.
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