Ever Given, the container ship that became stuck in the Suez Canal has affected goods worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
IKEA and Lenovo are among the companies with products stuck on the Japanese-owned vessel that blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March. Smaller firms such as UK bicycle maker Pearson 1860 and Snuggy UK, which makes wearable blankets, also have vital orders stuck in limbo.
“We don’t hold out much hope of seeing our stock this year and although it is insured in transit, we have guessed there will be little chance of seeing a settlement for months if not years,” Will Pearson, director of Pearson 1860. His products worth more than $100,000 is stuck on the impounded ship.
An Egyptian court impounded the Ever Given and its 18,300 cargo containers after the Suez Canal Authority filed a $916 million compensation for damages and losses incurred when the ship ran aground in a narrow part of the canal, blocking traffic.
If a deal is reached companies or their insurers are likely to be on the hook for a portion of the settlement. The companies may be forced to pay under a maritime law principle called “general average,” which requires parties involved to proportionally share costs in the event of a loss.
EasyEquipment, a small UK business that does not have marine insurance on $100,000 worth of commercial refrigerators that were supposed to be delivered to restaurants before coronavirus restrictions eased in May.
“Not only have we lost all profits from this crucial order, but this has also affected restaurant businesses that were hoping to reopen their doors after lockdown,” CEO Michael Shah said.
Goods worth over $600 million to $700 million are on-board the impounded container ship waiting for release.