Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has decided not to wait for another failed attempt to float the stricken Ever Given cargo ship now bleeding around $400 million an hour in shipping losses. Before salvage crews moved the bow of the ship five meters as the tide came in Sunday, he ordered preparations to be put in place to unload some of the massive ship’s 18,300 containers, which salvors say is risky, since it will upset the balance of the vessel. “His excellency has ordered that we should not wait for the failure of the first and second scenarios to start thinking about implementing the third one,” Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, told Egyptian television Sunday.
The ship has been stuck since Tuesday, crippling traffic in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and causing a massive backlog in the movement of goods as more than 300 ships wait to cross the canal from both sides. A handful of vessels have rerouted around the African continent to avoid further delays. Hundreds of livestock are now at risk of dying on livestock ships, and major companies risk losing millions of dollars if their goods are delayed much longer.
The full moon tide on Sunday night posed the next best chance to dislodge the ship and get it moving again, and the bow did at least briefly yield.