Back On Sail? Now That The Ever Given Ship Is Freed, Time To Figure Out What The Heck Happened And If The Voyage Can Continue.

Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, is seen in Egypt's Great Bitter Lake Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Experts have boarded Ever Given container ship that had blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week before it was dislodged. A canal pilot says engineers are inspecting the Ever Given for damage and trying to determine why it ran aground. (AP Photo/Mohamed Elshahed)

Experts on Tuesday boarded the now-free container ship Ever Given, which is waiting in a lake off the Suez Canal.

The assessments to be conducted include deciding on whether it can continue its voyage and who is to blame for the costly disruption in service.

The line of Egyptian government officials, insurers, shippers and others may feel as long as the procession of ships stalled for six days beginning March 23.

More than 300 ships carrying goods from crude oil to cattle and just about everything in between still may face a couple of days’ wait before they resume travel.  

When a determination is made on who is to blame, litigation could take several years.

The Ever Given is owned by a Japanese firm, operated by a Taiwanese shipper, flagged in Panama and now sits in Egypt.

“This ship is a multinational conglomeration,” said Capt. John Konrad, the founder and CEO of the shipping news website gcaptain.com.

The 220,000-ton, 1,300-foot-long ship, was freed Monday, and experts have a challenge ahead of them.

A senior canal pilot, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that experts sought signs of damage and reasons the vessel may have run aground.

A statement from the company that leases the ship, Evergreen, said an inspection would be conducted to see whether the Ever Given could continue its originally planned journey to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

According to Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, none of the nearly 20,000 containers on board was damaged, Reuters reported.

“The ship was ready for limited navigation after an initial inspection and not a single container was damaged, but a second investigation will be more precise, and if it was affected, it will show,” Rabie said.

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