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  • Ever Given Moved Slightly; More Vessels Diverted: Suez Update
    Bloomberg

    Ever Given Moved Slightly; More Vessels Diverted: Suez Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks trade and supply chains disrupted by the pandemic. Sign up here, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis.Tugs working to refloat the Ever Given managed to shift the stricken container ship 29 meters on Saturday, and dredgers succeeded earlier in freeing the propellers from the sediment that’s glued the vessel to the bank of the Suez Canal since Tuesday.Dredging work will continue until 4 p.m. local time Sunday, at which point the refloating operations will resume, Inchcape Shipping Services said. Another two tugs are set to arrive, adding to the 11 currently on site, according to Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, technical manager for the vessel.The Ever Given’s charterer said it could take at least a couple of days of dredging before enough mud and sand is cleared to attempt a refloat on a high tide. Meanwhile, the rescue team said it would start lifting containers off the vessel to lighten its load.The pile-up of ships is creating another setback for global supply chains already strained by the e-commerce boom linked to the pandemic, with companies including A.P. Moller-Maersk redirecting vessels around southern Africa. About 12% of global trade transits the canal that’s so strategic world powers have fought over it.Key Highlights:Two more tugs will arrive at the Ever Given by Sunday, ship management company saysU.S. President Joe Biden has offered helpMaersk and CMA CGM divert more vessels to sail around AfricaThere are more than 320 vessels lined up, according to the Suez Canal AuthorityExplainers: Why the Suez Canal is so important, and why shipping was in a bind even before this crisisShip Moved Slightly; Refloating Ops Halted (London 9:39 p.m.)Tugs managed to move the Ever Given 29 meters (32 yards) on Saturday, Inchcape Shipping Services, a maritime services provider, said in an emailed statement.Dredgers will continue to dig out mud and sand from near the ship until Sunday 4 p.m. local time, at which point refloating operations will resume, Inchcape said.Ship’s Propeller Is Free, More Tugs on Way (8:30 p.m. London)Eleven tugs worked throughout Saturday alongside the dredging operations which removed sand and mud from around the port side of the bow, according to a statement from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the vessel’s technical manager. Another two tugs are set to arrive Sunday.The vessel’s rudder has been released from the sediment.Initial investigations have ruled out mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding, according to the statement. CMA CGM Diverts Two Vessels (8 p.m. London)French shipping company CMA CGM Group has diverted two vessels, the Leo and the Attila, around the Cape of Good Hope, according to the firm’s web site.The Leo is en route from Charleston, South Carolina, to Port Klang, Malaysia. The Attila is plying a route from Kingston, Jamaica, to Singapore, according to shipping data.The company has 10 ships stuck in or near the canal, plus another nine partner vessels.Pumping Water Into Sand Could Work (7:35 p.m. London)The Ever Given could be freed by pumping water into the sand beneath the vessel, the emeritus professor of engineering design at the University of Edinburgh told The Scotsman newspaper.“I would give it a 50/50 chance of working,” Professor Stephen Salter said.Ever Given Moves Slightly, Egypt Today Reports (6:44 p.m. London)The ship has moved 30 meters northward, according to a tweet by Egypt Today Magazine, adding that this suggests the reflotation process will work.Line of Ships Grows Longer (4:13 p.m. London)The number of ships waiting to enter the Suez Canal is lengthening as the waterway remains blocked. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows there are 429 vessels queued up Saturday, compared with around 100 at the start of the blockage.Bulk carriers typically hauling commodities such as grains, coal and iron ore account for the biggest share of the vessels stuck in and around the canal. The data also indicate as many as 14 vessels that could be carrying thousands of livestock.* Listed are the categories with highest number of vessels waitingCanal Chief Sounds Optimistic Note (2:05 p.m. London)The latest efforts to free the vessel have begun to pay off, and new attempts to refloat it could begin Saturday or Sunday, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie told reporters.Declining to lay out a timeline for when the operation could be completed, Rabie said 10 tug boats are on site. There are currently more than 320 ships waiting to move, and authorities are working to provide them with all necessary services.The canal is taking a revenue hit of as much as $14 million a day from the blockage, Rabie said.Excavation Could Take Days (1:50 p.m. London)Excavation will take at least two to three days of digging to reach the required depth for the stranded ship to refloat, charterer Evergreen Line said in a statement dated March 26.Maersk Diverts 14 Container Ships South of Africa (12:52 p.m. London)Logistics company AP Moller-Maersk A/S has diverted 14 vessel around the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, to avoid the Suez canal. The number of rerouted ships is up from 12 yesterday and the company said it expects the number to increase.“For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase,” Maersk said in a statement.Dredging Set to Resume (12:40 p.m. London)Tugs are connecting up to resume reflotation operations, according to Inchcape Shipping Service. Dredgers are currently working and there are some divers around the Ever Given vessel.Egyptian Prime Minister Comments (12:09 p.m. London)In the first public comment from an Egyptian government official on the incident, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the country was racing against time to restore movement to the facility vital to the entire world and was keen to complete the work as soon as possible.Livestock Vessels Stranded (9:24 a.m. London)Several vessels laden with livestock and containers en route to Jordan are stranded near the Suez Canal, Captain George Dahdal, Representative of Jordan Navigation Syndicate, said by phone. Seven vessels loaded with 92,000 livestock that were supposed to arrive to Aqaba on March 21 are stranded. Other vessels loaded with containers including food and other commodities are still stuck due to the traffic jam, Dahdal said.Qatar Airways Gets Air Freight Queries (6 a.m. London)Qatar Airways, one of the world’s largest cargo airlines, said shippers stuck in the canal were sending queries as a precautionary measure. The airline expects “to see firmer interest in the coming days if the situation remains the same,” a spokesperson for the company said in response to questions from Bloomberg.Timing Couldn’t be Worse, Moody’s SaysThe canal’s temporary closure might affect 10%-15% of world container throughput, Moody’s Investors Service estimated earlier this week. Under normal circumstances, the temporary delays in global supply chains would not be a “big issue,” it said. However, a global shortage in container capacity and low service reliability has made supply chains highly vulnerable to external shocks despite high consumer demand, its analysts said.“The timing of this event could not have been worse,” analysts including Daniel Harlid wrote in a March 25 report.Insurers May Be on Hook for Millions (12:42 a.m. London)There were potentially thousands of insurance policies taken out on the steel boxes stacked high on Ever Given. They could result in millions of dollars in payouts.The blockage is set to unleash a flood of claims by everyone affected, from those in the shipping industry to those in the commodities business. Read the story here.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ship Logjam Doubles With Little Room to Maneuver: Suez Update
    Bloomberg

    Ship Logjam Doubles With Little Room to Maneuver: Suez Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks trade and supply chains disrupted by the pandemic. Sign up here, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis.The logjam of ships building up around the Suez Canal has doubled, with the tight width of the key international waterway making it difficult to salvage the giant container ship that went aground and blocked it.Work to re-float the Ever Given and allow passage for oceangoing carriers hauling almost $10 billion of oil and consumer goods could take days, or even weeks.The blocking of the waterway is creating another setback for global supply chains already strained by the e-commerce boom linked to the pandemic. About 12% of global trade goes through the canal that’s so strategic world powers have fought over it. Key Highlights:A.P. Moller-Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd consider sending ships around Africa237 vessels were queued up Thursday, up from 185 WednesdayThe front of the ship is wedged around 5 meters (16 feet) into the canal’s wallDredging has been done to remove sand from around the front hullAttempts to re-float the vessel have restarted again on ThursdayAll time stamps LondonNot Much Room to Maneuver (3:39 p.m.)It’s no wonder the stuck Ever Given in the Suez Canal is creating such a headache.The key trade route is narrow -- less than 675 feet wide (205 meters) in some places -- and can be difficult to navigate. Work to re-float the giant container ship -- about a quarter mile long (400 meters) -- and allow passage for oceangoing carriers hauling almost $10 billion of everything from commodities to consumer goods continued without success on Thursday in Egypt.The blockage highlights a major risk faced by the shipping industry as more and more vessels, which are getting bigger and bigger, transit maritime choke points including the Suez, Panama Canal and the Strait of Hormuz.Big Container Lines Consider Diverting Ships Around Africa (3:27 p.m.)A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and Hapag-Lloyd AG, two of the world’s largest container carriers, said they’re considering sending ships around Africa to avoid a bottleneck in the Suez Canal.Copenhagen-based Maersk in a statement said the company is considering all alternatives including diverting around the Cape of Good Hope. No decision has been made and it will depend on how long the delays last. Maersk said earlier that seven of its vessels are affected by the blocked waterway.In a separate statement, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd said it’s monitoring the situation “and closely follows the implications on its services. We are presently looking into possible vessel diversions around Cape of Good Hope.” It said it has five ships involved.Traffic Jam at Suez Canal Has Doubled to 237 Ships (3:21 p.m.)The number of ships waiting to enter the Suez Canal is lengthening as the waterway remains blocked.Data compiled by Bloomberg shows there are 237 vessels queued up Thursday, compared with 185 counted on Wednesday and around 100 at the start of the blockage.Suez Blockage Forces LNG Suppliers to Begin Shifting Flows (3:18 p.m.)There may only be one liquefied natural gas tanker stuck inside the Suez Canal behind the marooned Ever Given, but there are already signs the blockage is beginning to disrupt global LNG flows.The Golar Tundra, which loaded the gas in Egypt, was scheduled to arrive in Pakistan by the end of the month until the hold-up in the canal, according to traders with knowledge of the matter. The South Asian nation is now in discussions with its supplier about finding an alternative cargo, they said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Strike Looms in Montreal Port Standoff Over Worker Contracts
    Bloomberg

    Strike Looms in Montreal Port Standoff Over Worker Contracts

    (Bloomberg) -- The biggest port in Eastern Canada may be seeing disrupted shipments if dockworkers and their employers can’t agree on a new union contract.Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal are demanding better schedules, and voted overwhelmingly against an offer from the Maritime Employers Association on March 21. While the union doesn’t intend to strike for now, they still could, and the lack of an agreement threatens to upend port operations at a time when shipments are already hampered by a global container shortage.“We expect that terminal performance in the port will be severely impacted” given the potential risk of workers taking action, Hapag-Lloyd AG said in an email to customers Tuesday. The shipper also said vessels could be diverted at additional costs.Many small and medium-sized businesses rely on shipments that pass through the Port of Montreal, the biggest in Eastern Canada. Dockworkers handled 1.6 million containers holding 35 million metric tons of goods and commodities last year. About two-thirds of the tonnage was bulk products like oil, fertilizers and iron ore.The latest failure to reach an agreement isn’t new. In 2020, a series of rotating strikes by Montreal dockworkers caused 21 container ships to divert to other ports, and the equivalent of 80,000 20-foot containers were either grounded or rerouted.Michel Murray, a union representative, told a local radio station Monday that the dockworkers’ main demand is to have work schedules that will allow balance with personal lives. Employers treat longshoremen as if they were firefighters or emergency doctors, he said.The Maritime Employers Association said it is waiting for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services to call, stating its priority remains to negotiate an agreement as soon as possible.The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Covid-19 infections among dockworkers in the United States, have threatened to worsen ship bottlenecks at some ports, highlighting the importance of dockworkers. In the U.S., contracts are set to expire next year at 29 ports.(Adds Hapag-Lloyd comment in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.