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Large Container Ship Finally Freed From Suez Canal

The 224,000-ton Ever Given had been stuck at the canal for nearly a week, leaving nearly 370 vessels, and billions in trade, at a standstill.

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A large container ship that stalled traffic at the Suez Canal for nearly a week has finally been freed, according to the AP.

MartinLueke | Shutterstock

On Monday, a number of tugboats worked together to capitalize on the peak of high tide and move the 224,000-ton Ever Given vessel away from the canal's bank. Dredgers had reportedly vacuumed up sand and mud from the ship's bow, as 10 tugboats pushed and pulled the Ever Given for five days.

"We pulled it off!" Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm that was tapped to dislodge the ship, said in a statement. "I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given … thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again."

The Ever Given will now head toward the Great Bitter Lake — a saltwater lake in Egypt located along the canal — where it will be inspected, AP adds.

Operated by Taiwan-based shipping company Evergreen Marine Corp., the ship was carrying between Asia and Europe when it was caught in 40-knot winds and a sandstorm last Tuesday. At the time of the incident, the Ever Given had also allegedly traveled above the canal's speed limit of 8.6 knots.

As a result of the blockage, at least 367 vessels, some of which were carrying crucial oil, were left waiting to cross the canal. Last week, Lloyd's List estimated that the backup had impacted westbound traffic by nearly $5.1 billion a day and eastbound traffic by approximately $4.5 billion.

Though the container ship has now been moved, the AP notes that ship operators have yet to determine when the canal will reopen for business. The canal accounts for 10% of global trade.

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