Suez canal ship stuck 'like beached whale'

Efforts to free the cargo ship stuck in the Suez canal resumed on Thursday (March 25).

But it's looking like no easy job.

The Ever Given is one of the world's largest ships - around 400 meters long.

Satellite images show it neatly wedged in the canal.

Now Dutch firm Boskalis is handling operations.

Its boss says the freighter is stuck like a 'beached whale'.

Several tugs are trying to pull the giant vessel free.

But Boskalis says the job could take weeks.

It may try to reduce the weight of the ship by removing containers.

As well as dredging sand from underneath.

Another firm involved said wind conditions and the sheer size of the Ever Given were hampering efforts.

Meanwhile, a major marine traffic jam is developing.

Ship tracking by Refinitiv shows vessels stacking up on either side of the canal.

That includes more container ships, oil tankers and bulk carriers hauling grains.

The effects will be felt worldwide.

Around 12% of the global trade in goods goes through the canal.

Now shipping firms will be looking for an alternative.

Marcus Baker is Global Head of Marine and Cargo at insurance broker Marsh Inc:

"There are other routes that people can take. So you can go around the coast of South Africa and that adds about a week. And the question I think people have been figuring out is what will that do for fuelling costs, because it's obviously longer."

Japanese shipowner Shoei Kisen has apologised for the incident.

It said work to free the Ever Given was proving 'extremely difficult', and couldn't say when the ship would be on the move again.

Experts say the firm, and its insurers, face millions of dollars in claims from shipping firms affected by the blockage.