In the aftermath of the Suez Canal crisis, a cargo vessel has been legally grounded pending a compensation claim.
According to a law company seeking to help its client off-load detained containers, the cargo vessel that blocked the Suez Canal, halting global transport, has been grounded again.
Following the attempt to rescue the large tanker that ran aground in March, Egyptian officials held the Ever Given, claiming 550 million US dollars (£395 million) in compensation from the ship’s owners Shoei Kisen Kaisha.
Jai Sharma, a partner and head of cargo casualty at Clyde & Co, has issued an open letter to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on behalf of his firm’s clients, requesting that the disagreement be resolved.
“We represent the insurers of more than 100 million (dollars) of goods on board,” he wrote. Some of this cargo is time-sensitive, and the delays are producing losses and operating challenges for many cargo receivers at a time when many businesses are under stress due to the pandemic.”
“While we understand that the SCA has unofficially decreased its demand to 550 million dollars from the initial 916 million dollars, we believe that this still a manifestly excessive figure for the services given and damages alleged by the SCA,” Mr Sharma continued.
When the Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, it was transporting roughly 700 million dollars (£500 million) in goods between Asia and Europe.
The maritime catastrophe choked one of the world’s most important waterways, but salvage teams were able to liberate the vessel six days later.
The latest in a series of court sessions is set for Sunday, but Mr Sharma does not anticipate a resolution will be achieved then, and talks between the parties are likely to continue.
Although a settlement of 150 million dollars has been offered, the SCA is still demanding 550 million dollars.
Mr Sharma told the PA News agency that the claim sum was “unprecedented,” adding, “It’s much, far more than we would have imagined by a ratio of ten or twenty.”
“I believe people are willing to pay a respectable price and are even eager to pay more. (This is a brief piece.)