Suez Canal: ships sail into Red Sea as 'Ever Given' makes way for global logistics

Canal authorities are hoping that more than 100 ships can exit the passage today

A picture released by Egypt's Suez Canal Authority on March 29, 2021, shows a man waving the Egyptian flag after Panama-flagged MV 'Ever Given' container ship was fully dislodged from the banks of the Suez. The ship was refloated and the Suez Canal reopened, sparking relief almost a week after the huge container ship got stuck and blocked a major artery for global trade. Salvage crews have been working around the clock ever since the accident which has been blamed on high winds and poor visibility during a sandstorm. / AFP / SUEZ CANAL AUTHORITY / - / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / SUEZ CANAL AUTHORITY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

Passage through the Suez Canal resumed on Monday evening after salvage teams freed a colossal container ship stuck in the waterway for nearly a week.

Navigation restarted at 6pm local time, said Lt Gen Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority.

From the city of Suez, ships stacked with containers could be seen exiting the canal into the Red Sea.

At least 113 of more than 420 vessels that had waited for Ever Given container ship to be freed were expected to cross the canal by Tuesday morning, Gen Rabei said.

Unavoidably –due to the narrow confines of the waterway and the sheer backlog of vessels – the first ship to exit the canal was the 200,000 tonne sister ship to the Ever Given, the Ever Globe, which at almost 400 metres in length, has similar dimensions.

Dozens of ships soon followed, marking the end of a crisis that had clogged one of the world's most vital waterways and halted billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce.

Helped by the tides, a flotilla of tugboats wrenched the bulbous bow of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given from the canal's sandy bank, where it had been firmly lodged since March 23.

The tugs blared their horns in jubilation as they guided the Ever Given through the water after days of futility that had captivated the world, drawing scrutiny and social media ridicule.

The Ever Given sailed to the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, for inspection, said Evergreen Marine Corp, a Taiwan-based company that operates the ship.