Salvager hopes to free Suez by early next week

The giant container ship grounded in the Suez Canal could be dislodged by the start of next week.

A Dutch firm working to free the vessel, Boskalis, says the combination of heavier tugboats arriving this weekend, a high tide and dredging could free the 400-meter long Ever Given.

Peter Berdowski, the chief executive of Boskalis told a Dutch TV program late Friday (March 26) that quote "we aim to get it done after the weekend, but everything will have to work out exactly right for that."

He added that a land crane would be brought in at the weekend to offload containers on the ship if efforts to dislodge it are in vain.

But experts have warned that such a process could be complex and lengthy.

The Ever Given has been wedged diagonally across the canal since Tuesday (March 23), blocking one of the world's busiest waterways.

About 15% of world shipping traffic passes through the canal.

Dozens of vessels are waiting at the entrances.

Shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship became stranded.

The blockage has scrambled global supply chains.

If this drags on, shippers may decide to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope.

But this would add about two weeks to the journeys and extra fuel cost.

Three shipping agents said on Saturday (March 27) that none of the ships waiting at the canal's entrances had requested to be rerouted yet.