Suez Canal: Ever Given to arrive at Felixstowe 'a little late'

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Ever Given was refloated in the Suez Canal on Monday and will be checked before setting sail on the sea again

A giant ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week is expected to arrive at the UK's busiest container port in less than a fortnight.

The 400m-long (1,300ft) Ever Given was wedged across the canal in Egypt before salvage crews dislodged her on Monday.

It took a mammoth salvage operation using tug boats to refloat the ship.

Ever Given is expected to continue on its voyage and call at Rotterdam before Felixstowe, a company that pilots ships into British ports said.

The Port of Felixstowe said operationally its arrival would be treated as "just another ship" and it was not planning any special preparations.

media captionThe stranded container ship is seen finally on the move and no longer blocking the canal

Suez is one of the world's busiest trade routes, and companies were forced to reroute ships, causing long tailbacks of hundreds of vessels.

Peter Berdowski, chief executive of Dutch salvage company Boskalis, said the Ever Given had been refloated on Monday afternoon, "thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again".

image captionFelixstowe in Suffolk is the UK's busiest container port

Harwich Haven Authority (HHA), which pilots ships into ports including Felixstowe, said the Ever Given would need to be checked for damage in Egypt to see if it was fit to go to sea.

The HHA's chief executive Neil Glendinning said: "If that is the case and there is no structural damage then she will continue on her voyage.

"So we will see her, just a little late."

He said it would be a week to 10 days from when the ship was allowed to go back to sea until it would arrive at Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe said it did not have an estimated time of arrival.

The 200,000-tonne ship ran aground on 23 March amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.

Containers on board are carrying a huge variety of items and the insured value of the cargo is believed to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Steve Parks, director at Seaport Freight Services, a shipping and freight-forwarding company based at the Port of Felixstowe, has 20 containers of goods on the Ever Given, containing a "variety of things", including food items.

He said it was "super news" that it had been refloated.

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