The huge container ship, which has been bringing global traffic to a standstill on the Suez Canal for more than a day, was partly made afloat again.
It is hoped that traffic on the fastest shipping route from Europe to Asia will resume soon, but the 400-meter-long, 224,000-ton Ever Given ship will have to be towed to another location first, Navy agent GAC said.
By Wednesday afternoon (UK time) around 100 ships are stuck on both sides of the canal. Egyptian officials fear the removal could take days.
The Ever Given was stranded Tuesday morning when it lost its steering ability after reportedly being hit by high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.
Around 30 percent of the world’s container shipping passes through the canal every day, transporting everything from fuel to consumer goods.
The main alternative route for ships between Asia and Europe around the African Cape takes a week longer.
Images posted on social media showed the ship was positioned diagonally across the canal, blocking its full blockade
Photos shared by the SCA showed a dredger removing earth and stone from the bank of the canal around the bow of the ship.
GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company, said the Ever Given was partially floated and moved along the channel bank, citing information from the SCA.
“Convoys and traffic are expected to resume once the ship is towed to another location,” GAC said on its website.
There was no immediate confirmation from the SCA, but its chairman told local television that a convoy was headed south and that the agency was trying to keep traffic between the waiting areas as good as possible.
The agency was considering compensation for delayed ships, Chairman Osama Rabie said.
Tracking maps had shown that the ship had landed in the southernmost section of the waterway between Great Bitter Lake and the port of Suez on the Red Sea.
At least 30 ships have been blocked north of Ever Given and three in the south, local sources said.
Several dozen ships were also seen grouped around the north and south entrances to the canal.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the ship’s technical manager, initiated an investigation after the ship ran aground on Tuesday at around 4:50 a.m.
BSM, which handles the ship’s crew and engineering issues, said all crew are safe and responsible, and there have been no reports of injuries or pollution.
It said it had notified the authorities and “interested parties” but could not confirm the ship owner.
The Suez Canal could be blocked by a huge container ship for days
The ship is believed to have been insured for around $ 100 million, said Marcus Baker, global marine and cargo director
Marsh Insurance Broker in London.
Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday as news from Suez sparked supply concerns. The impact on oil and gas flows will depend on how long it takes to clear the blockage.
According to data intelligence company Kpler, five loaded liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers could not pass the canal until Wednesday due to the grounded container ship.