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80 vessels cross Suez Canal with total cargoes of 4.7 million tons
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 03 - 04 - 2021

As many as 80 vessels crossed the Suez Canal in both directions Friday, with total cargoes of 4.7 million tons.
In a statement issued today, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie affirmed that the navigation traffic through the canal is operating systematically.
He pointed out that the north-bound convoy included 43 vessels laden with 2.5 million tons, while the south-bound convoy comprised of 37 vessels carrying 2.2 million tons.
Lt. Gen. Rabie said that the American aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower too transited the Suez Canal on Friday. "This proves the global maritime community has great faith in the Suez Canal and Egypt's ability to guarantee safety and security to different types of vessels," Rabie was quoted in a statement.
The SCA pushes forward with efforts to clear a backlog caused by a six-day blockage of the canal by the giant container ship Ever Given.
Lt. Gen. Rabie said that some 194 vessels with a net tonnage of 12 million have crossed the canal since it reopened on Monday evening and until Wednesday.
The 400-meter-long Ever Given, which was on its way from China to the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, veered off course and ran aground diagonally while it was passing through the international trade route on March 23.
The gigantic ship, which was wedged sideways across the waterway for six days, caused around 422 vessels to be queued at the waterway or at anchor awaiting transit through the canal, through which around 12 percent of all world trade passes.
Egypt said it would seek over $1 billion in compensation for the losses incurred from the blocking of the Suez Canal as well as the costs of refloating the vessel. The SCA will also ask to be reimbursed for the expenses of using dredgers and tugboats in the refloating process, according to TV statements by Lt. Gen. Rabie.
The Ever Given had crashed into a bank of a single-lane stretch of the canal about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez. That forced some ships to take the long, alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa's southern tip — a 5,000-kilometer (3,100-mile) detour that costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs. Others waited in place for the blockage to be over.
The unprecedented shutdown, which raised fears of extended delays, goods shortages and rising costs for consumers, added to strain on the shipping industry, already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. — Agencies


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