Even as the Ever Given seems to be quickly becoming a casualty of “out of sight – out of mind” and the world is concerning itself with several other important and current issues like the ever increasing freight rates, failing schedule reliability around the world, container shortages and increased cargo demand, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Even after being officially “freed” on the 29th of March after being stuck in the Suez Canal for 6 days, the Ever Given has been legally stuck in the Great Bitter Lakes in the Suez Canal awaiting the settlement of legal disputes between its owners and operators and the Suez Canal Authorities.
In spite of several court appearances and negotiations, the parties got no closer to coming to an amicable settlement in terms of the claims raised by the Suez Canal Authorities.
On the 21st of June 2021, an Egyptian court adjourned this case further to the 4th of July in order to allow all parties to discuss the latest out of court settlement proposal put forward by the owners of the Ever Given – Shoei Kisen Kaisha.
Reuters has reported Stann Marine Ltd., a consultancy representing the Ever Given’s owners and insurers as saying “We submitted a proposal that we believe satisfies all the requirements of the SCA. The adjournment should allow for the “necessary time to reach a final and amicable solution that satisfies all parties.”
“Over the course of more than 15 days and in extended, long and arduous, but positive working sessions, negotiations are taking place.” Stann Marine added.
Reuters has just reported today that a representative for the owners and insurers of the Ever Given has confirmed that they reached an agreement in principle in terms of a compensation dispute with the Suez Canal Authority.
As per Reuters, work is under way to finalise a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible and arrangements will be made for the release of the Ever Given once the formalities had been dealt with.
The SCA originally pursued a claim of more than USD900 million to cover the daily losses suffered by the Canal during the 6 day blockade due to which over 400 ships were stuck on both sides of the canal.
What will happen to the thousands of containers on board the ship including several time sensitive and perishable cargoes is yet to be determined although the owners have declared General Average.
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