Sunday, March 28, 2021

Is "Ever Given" Container Ship's Indian Crew At Fault For Blocking the Suez Canal?

Ever Given container ship that ran aground and blocked all shipping traffic through the Suez Canal, the busiest waterway in the world, has just been re-floated.  The mega cargo ship's captain and the entire crew are Indian, the owners and shipbuilders are Japanese, the operator is German, the insurance company is British, the charterer is Taiwanese and the cargo is Chinese, according to media reports. The ship was reported blown aground by strong winds. 

Ever Given Stuck in Suez Canal. Source: Bloomberg

The 200,000-ton, 1,312 ft-long, 175 ft-wide cargo ship got stuck in the Suez Canal last Tuesday. About 30% of global cargo ship traffic remained blocked with 50 ships added to the jam every day the vessel remained stuck, As of yesterday, there were $10 billion worth of goods with nowhere to go with more than 300 ships carrying products across multiple industries now stuck in the gridlock.

This is a major incident that will undoubtedly be investigated to prevent its recurrence. Early reports, however, indicate that there were significant errors made by the crew which might have contributed to the problem. Moments before the ship ran aground, the Ever Given was apparently traveling faster than the speed limit set by the Suez Canal Authority, Bloomberg reported. The ship's last recorded speed was 13.5 knots, logged 12 minutes before it grounded, according to Bloomberg, which cited its own data. The maximum allowed speed through the canal was between 7.6 knots and 8.6 knots, the report said. The Japan Times also reported the ship was traveling 13.5 knots, adding that two canal pilots were onboard when the ship hit land.  

A Wall Street Journal report said that this is not the first time Ever Given has had problems at sea. On Feb. 9, 2019, the container ship ran into the 75-foot Finkenwerder, a pleasure ferry that was moored alongside a pontoon along the Elbe River in a suburb of Hamburg, Germany. It couldn't be learned if the current Indian captain of the ship was its captain when it hit the ferry.   


Anwar Mirza said...

Evergreen not Ever Given as reported.

SQureshi said...

Terrible. Careless India crew has created a massive disruption in the global shipping & goods trading.

Riaz Haq said...

AM: "Evergreen not Ever Given as reported"

Evergreen is the name of the shipping line. Ever Given is the ship's name.

Anonymous said...

Ever Given is the name of the ship.

Not be be confused by Evergreen containers it is carrying..

Ann Rogers said...

It takes 5 days to travel around the Cape so why speed in the canal . What is there too be gained ? Just like the car that speeded past you and now you are both stopped at a traffic light.

Anonymous said...

How pathetic reporting. In the canal the control is taken over by the Egypt, just because it requires special skill navigating the canal.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "In the canal the control is taken over by the Egypt, just because it requires special skill navigating the canal"

Here's an interesting "Guardian"story of who's in command of ships in the Suez:

By Rose George

Transiting the canal saves ships more than a week and many fuel costs compared with the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope. The canal is a huge money-spinner for the Egyptian government, earning it several billion dollars a year. When I went through on Maersk Kendal in 2010, as research for a book I wrote about the shipping industry, the transit cost $300,000. That fee included 14 hours of sedate trundling down what is actually rather a dull canal, once you’ve had an hour or so of excitement at seeing sand and palm trees, and realise you’ve got 13 more hours of them to go. It also included an obligatory “Suez crew”, who joined for the transit and had their own cabin, and a pilot who took control of the ship. This is standard procedure in modern shipping: ships often take on pilots in harbour areas or tricky passages because they have better local knowledge. Technically the pilot took command of the bridge, though the pilot we had was too busy eating his way through the entire menu, and dozing, to be particularly commanding. The second officer had to keep waking him up for instructions.

Although the official reason given so far for the Ever Given’s plight is that it was blown sideways by wind, I do wonder. In the vast majority of maritime accidents, human error is at fault. And no wonder: seafarers, working in ever smaller crews on ever larger ships, are knackered. Most on my journey were old enough to remember when they could stop for lunch in port. Now, ships are rarely in port for more than several hours, and those are busy. As we entered the canal, transiting south with our mostly empty boxes to collect made-in-China consumables and essentials such as medicine, the second officer was operating on three nights of three hours’ sleep, and would have no sleep during the transit. There is, as the Ever Given demonstrates, much to look out for during the passage.

N. Siddiqui said...

Someone Left a Hatch Open and Crippled India’s $2.9 Billion Submarine

India’s first ballistic missile submarine was out of commission for ten months after someone neglected to properly close a hatch. The nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant was flooded with saltwater, necessitating nearly a year’s worth of repairs. The submarine is designed to function as a floating arsenal of nuclear weapons, guaranteeing a retaliatory strike in case of surprise attack.

The incident was first reported by The Hindu. According to an Indian Navy source, a hatch was left open on the rear left side of the ship, allowing seawater to rush into the propulsion area while the Arihant was in harbor. Arihant was out of action for ten months as water was pumped out and pipes were cut out and replaced. Indian authorities likely felt that pipes exposed to corrosive seawater couldn't be trusted again, particularly pipes that carry pressurized water coolant to and from the ship’s 83 megawatt nuclear reactor. Failing pipes could not only endanger the ship’s crew but the entire submarine... and her nuclear weapons.

India’s first ballistic missile submarine is the result of a $2.9 billion submarine technology program. Construction on Arihant began in 2009, and the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy seven years later in October 2016. The modified Russian Akula-1 class nuclear attack submarine was lengthened to accommodate twelve K-15 short-range nuclear missiles or four K-4 intermediate range nuclear missiles. K-15 missiles, with their 434-mile range, primarily target Pakistan, while K-4 missiles, with their 2,174-mile range can reach all of Pakistan and as far as the capital of India’s other neighborhood rival, Beijing. A second missile submarine, INS Arighant, was launched in December, and at least three submarines are planned.

Ann Rogers said...

Thankfully the two vessels travelling behind the Evergiven where able to reverse and stop in time thus avoiding a collision The canal does not police the speeders. If travelling at the suggested canal speed of just over 7 knots the impact would not have been as great!

Moh said...

Well, they ran Intel into the ground, makes sense that they'd run a ship into the ground too.

Riaz Haq said...

Moh: "Well, they ran Intel into the ground, makes sense that they'd run a ship into the ground too."

Intel has recently fired its Indian-American chief engineer Venkata Murthy Renduchintala, who also served as Group President of the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG), for failure to deliver 7 nanometer semiconductor technology on schedule, according to Reuters. The news has knocked the market value of Intel by tens of billions dollars. The American company, the biggest global chip manufacturer with in-house fabrication plants, has also decided to outsource manufacturing. This could deal a serious blow to America's global leadership in chip manufacturing which is fundamental to all other computer and communications related technologies.

Riaz Haq said...

Ship Is Freed After a Costly Lesson in the Vulnerabilities of Sea Trade

Day and night, with international pressure bearing down, the dredgers dredged and the tugboats tugged.

But not until the seventh day, after the confluence of the full moon and the sun conjured an unusually high tide, did the ship wriggle free with one last heave shortly after 3 p.m., allowing the first of the roughly 400 ships waiting at either end of the canal to resume their journeys by Monday evening.

In the aftermath of one of the most consequential shipping accidents in history, the global supply chain industry will have a cascade of costly delays to contend with and much to assess: the size of container ships, the width of the Suez Canal, the wisdom of relying on just-in-time manufacturing to satisfy consumer demand around the world, and the role, if any, of human error.

But some things were out of anyone’s hands: If the wind and the tide might not be deemed acts of God by the insurance companies, they were a reminder that 21st-century commerce remains subject to random acts of nature.

“We’ve all seen the pictures and thought, ‘How on earth does that happen?’” said Emily Hannah Stausboll, a shipping analyst at BIMCO, a large international shipping association. “People in the industry are asking: Could it happen again? And if so, what do we do to avoid it happening for another week next time?”

samir sardana said...

What is the USP of the ship ? It is the largest container ship in the world,with 25 crew ! AND ALL THE CREW ARE INDIAN ! That is the USP - "Undisputable Sinking Problem"

100% CREW = 100% DISASTER ! dindooohindoo

As per Suez Rules, responsibility for a Suez Disaster in the Canal is SOLELY of the Master of the Ship ! A Pilot of the Port CANNOT be held liable for the Ship

If strong wings can bang the bow of a 200000 ship into a beach, it is a proxy excuse for human disaster ! This is assuming that all the ship vitals were intact,after a smash of the bow into the beach at 14 knots ! The theory that a 20000 container wall,gave a sail surface area to exert huge pressure on the BOW of the ship - to divert it into the beach is BULL !

This is HUMAN ERROR ! It is NOT just the ship speed - although a slower speed might have helped ! If the Port and ship radars CANNOT see through a sandstorm in a channel stream traversed millions of times AND wind speed changes cannot be foreseen,then it means that monkeys are on board the ship !

Then the question is - once the radars pick it up - then what to do ? That is where the monkeys came in - and doom struck !

The Monkeys of Rama ! How can anyone take even the degree,of an Indian,seriously ?

Indians and Ships do NOT jive – as the disaster of the Indian Navy has shown - and that is Y Rama used an army of apes and made a bridge to reach Lanka.He did NOT make a Ship.

Case 1 – October 2017: INS Kadmatt (P29), while stern maneuvering to the dock, collided by the stern with Russian ship Irytsh in Vladivostok on 19 October

Case 2 – November 2015: INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class destroyer, conducted BrahMos missile test firings whilst the airspace remained open to traffic

Case 3 – January 2014: INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate, ran aground and collided with an unidentified object

Case 4 – February 2014: On 26 February, INS Sindhuratna, a Kilo-class submarine, had a fire detected on board when trials were being conducted which resulted in smoke leading to suffocation and death of two officers.

Case 5 – A Nuke Sub blows up in Dry Dock in August 2013 ( all sailors killed

Case 6 – Disaster with INS Arihant in March 2017 (


December 2016: Two sailors died and 14 others were injured when INS Betwa tipped over and crashed on its side while it was undocking in Mumbai.NO WORTHY NATION HAS A SHIP,WHICH TIPPLES OVER IN DRY DOCK


N. Siddiqui said...

Please also remember 737 Max engineer/s was/were Indian and that resulted in global grounding of 737 max and knocked down Boeing share price and Boeing has lost face ever since.

Riaz Haq said...

Did software developed by Indian engineers cause Boeing 737Max crashes?

Bloomberg's Peter Robison reported on June 28 that Boeing and its suppliers outsourced some of its 737 Max software development and testing to temporary workers. These temp workers, some of whom were recent college graduates, were employees or contract workers for Indian tech firms HCL Technologies and Cyient Ltd.

Some of the testers and developers made as little as $9, the longtime engineers told Bloomberg. Former Boeing flight controls engineer Rick Ludtke said the move to outsource was centered on cost-cutting.

"Boeing was doing all kinds of things, everything you can imagine, to reduce cost, including moving work from Puget Sound, because we'd become very expensive here," Ludtke told Bloomberg. "All that's very understandable if you think of it from a business perspective. Slowly over time it appears that's eroded the ability for Puget Sound designers to design."

Riaz Haq said...

Grounded container vessel Ever Given successfully refloated in the Suez Canal by expert salvage team of Boskalis subsidiary SMIT Salvage

Papendrecht, 29 March 2021

Boskalis announces the successful salvage operation of the grounded 20,000 TEU container vessel Ever Given in the Suez Canal. With a length of 400 meters and a width of nearly 60 meters this giant ship had been wedged in this vital shipping route since 23 March 2021 blocking all shipping traffic ever since.

Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis: “Shortly following the grounding of the Ever Given we were requested through SMIT Salvage to provide assistance with the salvage operation. I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15:05 hrs local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again. I’m extremely proud of the outstanding job done by the team on site as well as the many SMIT Salvage and Boskalis colleagues back home to complete this challenging operation under the watchful eye of the world. The time pressure to complete this operation was evident and unprecedented and the result is a true display of our unique capabilities as a dredging and marine services provider.”

For the refloating of the 224,000-ton container vessel approximately 30,000 cubic meters of sand was dredged to help free the vessel and a total of eleven harbor tugs and two powerful seagoing tugs (Alp Guard and Carlo Magna) were deployed. The vessel is towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.

Riaz Haq said...

The results of a test called "Supertest", developed by researchers from the US, China, Russia and India,, show that Indian engineering students perform very poorly relative to their peers in other countries. Supertest is the first study to track the progress of students in computer science and electrical engineering over the course of their studies with regard to their abilities in physics, mathematics and critical thinking and compare the results among four countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Ever Given's #Indian crew may be arrested. The chairman of #Egypt's #SuezCanal Authority has estimated the total #economic damages from the casualty at about $1 billion. #SuezCrisis

The Indian crew of the giant boxship Ever Given are no longer stuck in the lower section of the Suez Canal, but they could get stuck in Egypt for a long time, according to the Times of India. It is possible that they may face house arrest or even criminal charges in connection with the vessel's grounding, which closed the canal for six days and disrupted billions of dollars in trade.

"There is a clear danger that the crew will be made scapegoats," an Indian shipping industry source told the outlet.

The 25-member crew is in good health but stressed by the experience of the grounding, according to the head of Indian seafarers' union NUSI, Abdulgani Serang. "They are not alone and we will support them whenever required in whatever manner required," Serang said.

The Egyptian government's lead investigator, Captain Sayed Sheasha, told Reuters on Wednesday that the Ever Given's master has fully cooperated with the inquiry.

The pressure on the investigation into the grounding is high. The chairman of the Suez Canal Authority has estimated the total economic damages from the casualty at about $1 billion, and affected shipping interests will be looking to recoup their losses via insurance claims and litigation. Ever Given's insurer, Lloyd's of London, is preparing for a "large loss" in the range of $100 million. The Suez Canal is already back up to full capacity and is running around the clock, but commercial disputes related to the shutdown are expected to last for years.

The Ever Given herself appears to have been largely spared. A dive inspection on Wednesday revealed a limited amount of damage to her bow, but no other obvious signs of harm, according to the AP.

Precedent for seafarer detention

In Egypt, officers aboard detained vessels have occasionally ended up under a status equivalent to house arrest, sometimes for years, according to the International Transport Workers' Federation.

Mohammad Aisha - the chief mate of the seized container feeder Aman - has been stuck on board his vessel at an anchorage off Suez since 2017. For four years, an Egyptian court has bound him to the ship as its designated "legal guard," and local authorities have confiscated his passport. He has been alone on board for the last 15 months, except for an occasional swim to shore for food and water, according to the ITF.

Aisha is not the only mariner trapped in Egypt by a local court order. The ITF is also attempting to win freedom for the captain of the freighter Kenan Mete. Like Aisha, the master has been designated as his vessel's "legal guard," and he has been forbidden to leave Egypt until the ship's case is resolved or another guardian is appointed.