A giant container ship remains stuck sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal for a fifth day as authorities prepare to make new attempts to free the vessel and reopen a crucial east-west waterway for global shipping.
The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, ran aground Tuesday in the narrow canal that runs between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.
The massive vessel got stuck in a single-lane stretch of the canal, about six kilometres (3.7 miles) north of the southern entrance, near the city of Suez.
Efforts to dislodge the ship had allowed its stern and rudder to move on Saturday, but it remained unclear when it could be refloated, the head of the canal authority told a press conference Saturday in Suez.
With each passing day, the closed Suez Canal in Egypt is costing an estimated 9 billion dollars’ worth of goods that should be passing through the water way, according to famed shipping journal, Llyod’s List.
The blockade is causing disruption in the flow of cargo traffic in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Every day, 70 ships, carrying a total of 4 million tons of cargo transit through the canal.
It means millions of tons of cargo travelling to various destinations the world over, have now been sitting idle since Tuesday night of March 23.
The Suez Canal in Egypt is a critical waterway, and used by 10 percent of the world’s maritime trade.
A complicated mission has since been underway to free the vessel, known as ‘’Ever Given’’.
The vessel is one of the world’s largest container ships, carrying 20,000 containers, and weighs more than 200, 000 tons.