By Kim Link-Wills,
Despite the early-morning hour, 5:15 a.m. Thursday in the Netherlands, the Ever Given “arrived amid great interest,” according to a Port of Rotterdam statement.
Normally a container ship’s arrival in port does not warrant a press release. But the case of the Ever Given, which will be forever infamous for getting stuck in the Suez Canal, is anything but normal and prompted Port of Rotterdam officials to post a brief statement and two photos of the Ever Given’s arrival Thursday.
The statement said the berthing of the Ever Given in Rotterdam went according to plan — well, a revised plan. The Evergreen Marine-operated container ship had been due in Rotterdam some four months earlier. The vessel was waylaid, of course, when it was lodged between the banks of the Suez Canal for six days in March.
The Port of Rotterdam said containers will be offloaded at its ECT Delta terminal. Boxes bound for Hamburg, Germany, will be loaded onto the Ever Utile over the weekend to finally continue their journey.
The Ever Given was en route from Yantian, China, through the Suez Canal to Rotterdam on March 23 when it was reportedly hit by strong winds and ran aground. It became stuck sideways in the canal, blocking both northbound and southbound traffic.
The ship was freed on March 29 and moved to Egypt’s Great Bitter Lake, where it was detained until earlier this month while the Suez Canal Authority, the ship’s owner and insurers negotiated a settlement to release the vessel and get its crew and cargo moving again.
The International Chamber of Shipping said the blockage of the canal cost $5.1 billion in world trade per day.
The Ever Given is expected to sail for Felixtowe early next week to deliver the remaining containers to the United Kingdom. According to FreightWaves maritime market expert Henry Byers, the Ever Given typically carries such goods as apparel, electrical equipment, tools and bicycles.
Thursday’s press release noted that handling ships the size of the Ever Given, which has a capacity of 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, is in fact routine. Rotterdam’s container terminals handle between five and eight large vessels each day.