The big, beautiful Ever Given is still stuck in the Suez Canal, trapped now by the legal wrangling of insurance companies, shipping conglomerates, and a whole country. And with the ship stuck, so too is the cargo and some of the crew says a news article from jalopnik.
The Ever Given doesn’t seem to be moving any time soon
The Ever Given spent six days blocking the Suez Canal after the mega cargo ship became stuck in the sand along the canal during an intense sandstorm. Once it was refloated, it was sent to the Great Bitter Lake while all sides duked it out in court to determine who would pay for the disaster. It’s not just big companies that are waiting on items stuck on the Ever Given.
The process of getting all of those goodies off of the big boat is going to be quite the headache. No one seems to be budging on who is at fault. While Egypt has lowered its demand for compensation to $550 million from $918 million, the Suez Canal Authority blames the entire fiasco on the captain of the mega cargo ship, despite several SCA pilots being on board and insisting it was safe for the ship to continue through the canal. Naturally, the various stakeholders in the Ever Given blame the incredible windstorms and SCA pilots for the ship’s calamity.
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While larger companies are taking the delay in stride, smaller ones are struggling. For instance, there’s nearly half a million dollars worth of Snuggies on that boat, half it is stock for the year. A small appliance company lost $100,000 worth of commercial refrigerators restaurants were counting on to reopen after COVID shutdowns.
What’s wild is companies with items on the Ever Given might end up having to pay into any settlement, or at least, their insurance companies will, despite having no involvement in the accident. A maritime law called “general average” puts IKEA, Snuggy, and other companies participating in Ever Given’s voyage on the hook for losses, CNN reports. Apparently, it’s based on a law from the ancient past:
The principle has its roots in regulations governing maritime trade set out by the people of Rhodes more than a millennium ago in what is now Greece.
“If somebody [the ship owners in this case] incurs an extraordinary expense for the common good, then everybody is asked to contribute to it,” said Jai Sharma, the head of cargo casualty at Clyde & Co., a law firm that represents companies and insurers with over $100 million in cargo on the Ever Given.
The firm estimates the total value of goods on board to be $600 million to $700 million.
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