The saga of the stuck ship and its cargo sails on.
Although the Ever Given is no longer a temporary resident of the Suez Canal, a legal fight is holding its cargo hostage.
With goods from companies including IKEA and Lenovo worth hundreds of millions of dollars still in place aboard the impounded container ship, it’s increasingly unlikely that customers will receive their orders anytime soon.
British bicycle manufacturer Pearson 1860 and Snuggy UK, the producer of wearable blankets, also are affected.
“We don’t hold out much hope of seeing our stock this year and although it is insured in transit, we have guessed there will be little chance of seeing a settlement for months if not years,” Will Pearson, director of Pearson 1860, told CNN Business. His company has products worth more than $100,000 on the ship.
The Japanese-owned ship ran aground – and stayed grounded for six days – in March.
Subsequently, the vessel and its 18,300 cargo containers were impounded after the Suez Canal Authority filed an initial $916 million compensation claim against ship owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha.
The legal battle among the ship’s owners, insurance companies and the Canal Authority involves millions of pounds in cargo.
The Ever Given is confined to Egyptian waters until the dispute is resolved. “We’re frustrated. Some of our clients are outraged,” Jai Sharma of the insurance company Clyde & Co. told The Guardian.
Clyde and Co. represents producers of more than $100 million worth of cargo on board.
The SCA said it would accept a settlement of $550 million but it hasn’t provided adequate reasoning other than asking for $300 million in “salvage bonus” and another $300 million for “loss of reputation” and physical damage to the canal.
“Even $550 million is untenable,” Sharma said. “My impression is that the whole claim is inflated.”