Major container carriers consider re-routing ships around Africa

Container shipping companies A.P. Møller-Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd are considering rerouting their container ships, which would normally sail through the Suez Canal, via the Cape of Good Hope. The 400-metre container ship Ever Given ran aground across the important shipping lane, causing a major blockage of ships.

A.P. Møller-Maersk, the world’s largest container carrier, reports that it is considering all alternatives for the passage by ship through the Egyptian Canal. Hapag-Lloyd is currently investigating whether it makes sense to have vessels sail around Africa, the company writes in a separate statement. This would mean a delay of about a week, according to a spokesman of the German shipping company.

Also read: Huge container ship blocks Suez Canal

Eleven A.P. Møller-Maersk ships have been affected by the blockade so far, three of which are stuck in the queue of ships. Whether the group’s global distribution network is affected by the blockage depends on the length of the congestion, the company reported. Hapag-Lloyd reports that five ships are affected by the congestion in the Suez Canal.

Also read: Port congestion looms the longer the Ever Given is blocking the Suez Canal

Refloating could take weeks

On Thursday, the attempt to refloat the ship Ever Given was resumed. It is still unclear how long it will take to clear the blockage. Top executive Peter Berdowski of maritime services provider Boskalis, which is helping to free the ship, did not rule out the possibility that it could take weeks.

Also read: CEO Boskalis: Refloating container ship Ever Given can take days to weeks

Picture by Instagram/Julianne Cona.

Source: ANP

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.