Suez Canal: Ever Given ship blocking channel is floating again

The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal is floating again and is currently being secured, Inch Cape Shipping Services said in a post on Twitter.

The Suez Canal Authority had earlier said in a statement that tugging operations to free the ship had resumed.

Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship’s status to under way on its website.

Inch Cape, a global provider of marine services, says the 400-metre-long ship was "successfully re-floated" at 4:30am (local time) after sitting wedged across the channel for almost six days.

Suez Canal salvage teams have been dredging and tugging the ship to get it free, and now efforts will be turned to maneuvering the ship through the canal.

About 30 percent of the world's container ships go through the Suez Canal, and the cargo they carry amounts to 12 percent of the world's trade.

The ship was blocking as many as 50 ships a day from travelling through the key link between Europe and Asia.

Ships blocked by the Ever Given were either having to wait for it to get moving or make the trek around the Horn of Africa to get to their destinations - the detour adding an extra week onto their journey.

At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal.

There have been concerns over how the blockage will affect New Zealand. Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation NZ (CBAFF) president Chris Edward told Newshub on Friday if it wasn't fixed within 48 hours it could hurt Kiwi importers. 

"Those vessels will miss their trans-ship vessels in Asia that bring cargo down to New Zealand, and then that starts to exacerbate the problem," he says.

"It'll be late by one or two weeks - I guess that depends on how long this lasts for."