Container vessel that blocked Suez Canal reaches Rotterdam

The huge container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year finally reached the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Thursday. The Ever Given sailed into the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to begin unloading its cargo, months later than originally planned.

The Panama-flagged vessel was heading for the Dutch port before it became wedged in the single-lane canal near Egypt in March. Traffic in the busy shipping lane was halted for nearly a week after the 400-metre ship ploughed into the sandy bank of the canal about 6 kilometres north of the southern entrance. A massive salvage effort freed the skyscraper-sized vessel six days later, allowing a traffic jam of hundreds of waiting ships to pass through the canal. The Dutch port said the vessel is expected to remain in Rotterdam until Aug. 5, when it will head for the English port of Felixstowe. Earlier this month, the Ever Given left the canal’s Great Bitter Lake, where it had been held for over three months amid a financial dispute. It was freed to continue its voyage after the ship’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., reached a compensation settlement with canal authorities following weeks of negotiations and a court standoff. In April, the shipping data company Lloyd’s List estimated that the blockage of the Suez Canal prevented the passage of an estimated €8 billion worth of cargo between Asia and Europe each day.