Loaded with 18,000 containers, Evergreen Marine Corp. is hard-pressed and under pressure to deliver their customers’ stuck cargo
Carrying everything from toilet paper to coffee and furniture, Ever Given is barred from leaving the Suez Canal unless its owner makes good the $1 billion compensation to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). The 224,000 tonne vessel was wedged diagonally across the canal for six days before being freed. With ongoing investigations involving the black box, the Egyptian court ordered the vessel to remain.
Ever Given’s stuck cargo and frustrated clientele
Taiwanese charterer, Evergreen Marine Corp. is facing tremendous pressure from its frustrated clientele to get their deliveries completed. A source familiar with the issue shared, “Customers are asking when their boxes will be delivered after the ship seizure, and the prospect of moving the containers to other ships and delivering them to the clients in Europe is now on the table.”
The source added efforts to remove the 18,000, 20 ft container units from the Ever Given could become a massive physical and logistical challenge. It may possibly require officials to move the vessel, which is currently anchored in the canal’s artificial Great Bitter Lake, to the nearby city of Port Said. He suggested a number of options, which included deploying empty ships to pick up some cargo and load to other container ships crossing on the same route to Europe. However, this approach may add more legal conundrums related to claims and fees surrounding the vessel and cargo owners.
Shipowner files claims against Evergreen Marine Corp
Evergreen Marine Corp said that it is looking into the court order and assessing the possibility of treating both the vessel and cargo separately. Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ever Given’s owner filed a general average claim against the vessel’s operators, which calls for companies with cargo on the vessel to share the risks and costs involved in the ship’s recovery.
Maritime lawyers, Bruce Paulsen and Brian Maloney of Seward & Kissel noted: “The seizure of Ever Given and compensation demand for salvage and other expenses by Egypt’s canal authority escalates the complexity and cost for the numerous cargo owners with property in transit aboard the vessel. Barring a settlement, those cargo owners now face additional expense and delay while the vessel’s arrest is maintained.”
Evergreen has not identified the customers whose shipments are on the Ever Given. However, some companies, including IKEA and Germany-based supermarket ALDI, have already said they have been impacted.