Evergreen hires firm that saved the day at Suez to free new ship

The ship Ever Forward, which remains run aground in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, on March 15, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Evergreen Marine Corp has hired the company that freed its giant container ship Ever Given last year when it ran aground for almost a week, disrupting global trade for months, to do the same with its vessel stranded near the United States capital.

The Taiwanese carrier has enlisted Donjon-Smit to free the Ever Forward, the vessel that has been stranded in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore since Sunday night, the Associated Press reported.

The salvor is a joint venture between Donjon Marine Co and Smit Salvage Americas, a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based company responsible for ending the six-day saga at the Suez Canal last March.

The firm was also hired to help out with the vessel that caught fire carrying roughly 4,000 luxury cars in Europe last month.

The Donjon-Smit team is working alongside naval architects, divers and the US Coast Guard to free the ship, Maryland Port Administration executive director William P. Doyle said on Thursday on Twitter.

There has been no fuel leakage, injuries or apparent damage to the vessel, and trade is moving into and out of Baltimore uninterrupted, Mr Doyle added.

The Hong Kong-flagged ship was stranded after departing the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal on Sunday night and has not moved since, according to mapping data compiled by Bloomberg. The 334m vessel is now scheduled to call the Virginia International Gateway terminal on March 23.

Mr Nathan Strang, director of ocean trade-lane management at logistics firm Flexport, said the schedule is probably "optimistic", because the Ever Forward is "stuck pretty good" compared with its sister ship, which only had its bow stuck.

However, the vessel is not currently blocking traffic and may cause "annoyance and frustration", but is unlikely to disrupt global trade in the same way the Ever Given did a year ago, Mr Strang said.

Neither Evergreen nor Donjon-Smit responded to multiple requests for comment.

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