Stranded Suez ship is finally freed

The massive cargo ship that's been blocking the Suez Canal since last has week has finally been freed, and the huge backlog of other vessels - hundreds of them - waiting to pass through is starting to move again.

That's according to the canal authority on Monday.

The 430-yard-behemoth, known as the Ever Given, became stuck diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds on the 23rd of March when it ran aground, blocking a trade route which is used by about 15% of the world’s shipping traffic for six days, and costing the canal $14-$15 million a day.

Marcus Baker is the head of marine and cargo at Marsh Incorporated. He says it highlights the importance - and vulnerability - of the world’s global supply chain.

"I mean, this is a very significant maritime artery, one of only two major canals in the world that operate in this way in terms of moving ships from one ocean to another."

"Now, you've got to remember that 90% of the world's goods are moved by ship. That's why the maritime industry is still so incredibly important for global trade. So any blockage of any kind that delays things has an unprecedented impact on global trade, and that's exactly what we've seen in the last week."

The Suez Canal Authority's chairman, Admiral Osama Rabie, has said that investigations will show that the organization wasn't responsible for the incident.

After dredging and excavation work over the weekend, rescue workers from the authority and a team from Dutch firm Smit Salvage succeeded in partially refloating the ship earlier on Monday using tug boats, according to marine and shipping sources.

The Ever Given is now being moved to a lake that sits along the canal for inspection.

Admiral Rabie has also said it could take from two-and-a-half to three days to clear the traffic jam of other ships.

Shipping group Maersk said the knock-on effects on global shipping could take weeks or months to unravel.