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Intermodal trains may have major problems due to Suez canal disruption.

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Intermodal trains may have major problems due to Suez canal disruption.
Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 10:48 PM

Giant container ship goes sideways in Suez Canal and is stuck.  Ships both sides are backing up.  Container ships to the east coast will be delayed causing possible back ups of out bound containers not boarded on ships and unable to get inbound containers

GIANT container ship gets stuck in Suez Canal, blocking ALL traffic & sparking frantic effort to pull it free (PHOTO) — RT World News

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 6:23 AM

Understand that there is a continuing backlog of vessels at West Coast ports.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 8:58 AM

Apparently, the ship lost control during a sandstorm with relatively high winds of 31 mph.  Perhaps the wind was blowing approximately in line with the canal, and when the ship began to lose control and rotate crosswise to the canal, the wind blew more directly against the side of the ship.  With the side presenting such a massive obstruction to the wind, the force grew larger as the ship turned crosswise to the wind.   Then both ends wedged into each bank of the canal. 

So the ship is not just run aground, but also has both ends pierced into the opposing banks of the canal.  As the ship rotated into this position, I wonder if each end of the ship created uplift of the vessel as each end plowed sideways into each bank of the canal.  If the ends did produce uplift, that force would tend to lift the entire ship and possibly break it in half due to so much weight being supported at only the two ends and not in the center. 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 11:39 AM

BaltACD

Understand that there is a continuing backlog of vessels at West Coast ports.

 

I'm reasonably sure there's backlogs at every major port, but Los Angeles/Long Beach is a disaster right now. 

My mom currently handles import orders for her company and they've got a group howling that they're going to miss a shipping deadline because their product packaging is stuck in a container sitting off Long Beach indefinitely.  She can only tell them "the ship can't even berth" so many times.

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Posted by SALfan on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 7:32 PM

Believe I read late in the day the ship had been moved and the canal is no longer blocked.  That won't help already-jammed ports, but the way is open for ships bound to the East Coast thru the Suez Canal.

EDIT: I later found out what I read wasn't accurate.  Sorry for the misinformation.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 7:45 PM

SALfan
Believe I read late in the day the ship had been moved and the canal is no longer blocked.  That won't help already-jammed ports, but the way is open for ships bound to the East Coast thru the Suez Canal.

We as railroaders and railroad enthusiasts have very little to no understanding of the maritime trade networks that keep the World Economy humming.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 8:00 PM

SALfan

Believe I read late in the day the ship had been moved and the canal is no longer blocked.  That won't help already-jammed ports, but the way is open for ships bound to the East Coast thru the Suez Canal.

 

That stuck ship is going to be a big deal to get unstuck.  There are reports that it may have to be unloaded to get it unstuck.   I think it is causing major heartburn with the canal, ship’s owners, and shipping delays to other ships. 

But earlier today, they ran a story saying the ship had been refloated.  But it seemed suspicious because they also said they will get it totally unstuck soon.  That sounded fishy to me.  I suspected they were so hoping to get it moving that they thought it would help to announce that they had done so.

As it turns out, that story was false as I suspected.  A new report says this:

 

"Ship has not been re-floated, authorities admit

The Ever Given is still aground in the Suez Canal and authorities are working to refloat it, an official at marine agent GAC said on Wednesday.

Ahmed Mekawy, an assistant manager at GAC's Egypt office, said the Dubai-based agent had earlier received inaccurate information that the mammoth container ship had been partially refloated." 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 10:14 PM

Maybe this will allow the ports to catch up a bit...

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 11:36 PM
 

One of the pitfalls of massive 20,000+ TEU vessels. Harder to re-float when aground..Of note Evergreen has ordered some more vessels but these will only have a capacity of 15,000 TEU. I think overtime we will start seeing new vessel orders trend back in size a little bit. 15-18K TEU

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:29 AM

Another report.  Early Thursday morning local time another dtry tto free the vessel.  May shows how idt is locked in sideways.  Wonder if wind conditions might have contributed to it going sideways ?

After being bottlenecked in the Suez Canal for days, the owner of the cargo ship Ever Given is potentially facing millions of dollars in insurance claims (msn.com)

 Does the canal use pilots for going thru the canal ?

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, March 25, 2021 7:11 AM

Reports do indicate that a high wind blew the ship off course and turned it crosswise to the canal.  Looking at the profile of the ship, you can see how much opportunity it would present to cross wind. 

I think the gravity of this predicament has been slow to sink in.  The canal authority may want to consider limiting the length of passing ships to be about 100 ft. less than the width of the canal.  

It may be possible with enough pull to just pop the ship loose, and eventually enough pull might be made available.  The problem is that you have to attach the pull to the ship in an even distribution of pull points on the ship, or it will just pull a chunk out of the ship.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 25, 2021 7:11 AM

blue streak 1
Another report.  Early Thursday morning local time another dtry tto free the vessel.  May shows how idt is locked in sideways.  Wonder if wind conditions might have contributed to it going sideways ?

After being bottlenecked in the Suez Canal for days, the owner of the cargo ship Ever Given is potentially facing millions of dollars in insurance claims (msn.com)

 Does the canal use pilots for going thru the canal ?

Have watched a YouTube video or two of vessels transiting the Suez Canal.  Vessels do get a Pilot - it is part of the fees they pay for passage.  Transit of any of the worlds canals for large commercial vessels is not cheap.

Reports I have read state that the wind was the prime cause of the grounding.

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, March 25, 2021 7:17 AM

This type of scenario could easily play out in any number of canals.  There are spots in the St. Lawrence Seaway near me where a 700' ship would likely touch both shores.

There is a ship sunk in the American Narrows here that is a popular destination for recreational divers.  At 700', the Roy A Jodery would likely have spanned the waterway.  The bow is 150' down, the stern sits at 240' - too deep for your average hobby diver.  

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, March 25, 2021 7:27 AM

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-egypt-suezcanal-ship-idUSKBN2BH1HH

From the link:

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - A container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” sent new shockwaves through global trade on Thursday as officials stopped all ships entering the channel and the salvage company said it may take weeks to free.

 

It may require unloading the ship in addition to dredging sand.  The size of the ship and number of containers is startling. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 25, 2021 11:23 AM

400 meters long, 59 meters wide, 224K tons.  Egypt doesn't have any cranes capable of reaching the top containers on the vessel to unload them to another vessel.  Pumping off fuel and/ballast to lighten the load risk capsizing the vessel.

That is why salvage contractors earn their money.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, March 25, 2021 11:45 AM

BaltACD

400 meters long, 59 meters wide, 224K tons.  Egypt doesn't have any cranes capable of reaching the top containers on the vessel to unload them to another vessel.  Pumping off fuel and/ballast to lighten the load risk capsizing the vessel.

That is why salvage contractors earn their money.

 

Yes of course it will obviously require salvage companies to do the work of unloading the containers and fuel.  They could cut the ship in two or more pieces if necessary.  They can saw through with a special cutting cable. 

But this refloat operation could take a lot longer than the few days they are hoping for.  Just having the ship supported mostly on the ends could do a lot of damage that we cannot see from the photos.  I think we will be hearing a growing predicted timeframe for refloating the ship.  If it gets out to weeks, they may decide the cost of the delay is higher than the value of the ship and its load. 

 

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:10 PM

Would a heavy payload military helicopter be able to lift a loaded container?

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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:16 PM

I saw a piece on CNN  Business that they are now saying it could takes weeks or months to refloat the ship.  They are trying to move tha sand away from the ship. But who knows how long it will actually take?

           Caldreamer

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:39 PM

Euclid
 
BaltACD

400 meters long, 59 meters wide, 224K tons.  Egypt doesn't have any cranes capable of reaching the top containers on the vessel to unload them to another vessel.  Pumping off fuel and/ballast to lighten the load risk capsizing the vessel.

That is why salvage contractors earn their money. 

Yes of course it will obviously require salvage companies to do the work of unloading the containers and fuel.  They could cut the ship in two or more pieces if necessary.  They can saw through with a special cutting cable. 

But this refloat operation could take a lot longer than the few days they are hoping for.  Just having the ship supported mostly on the ends could do a lot of damage that we cannot see from the photos.  I think we will be hearing a growing predicted timeframe for refloating the ship.  If it gets out to weeks, they may decide the cost of the delay is higher than the value of the ship and its load. 

Salvors have been cutting on the Golden Ray that capsized in Brunswick, GA harbor in September 2019 since November 2020.  They have managed to get the hull cut in three pieces to be hauled to the scrapper so far; it is expected for the hull to be cut into eight pieces for final disposition.

Smit is one of the contracted salvors for the Ever Given - there is no way the vessel will be cut up on site.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, March 25, 2021 12:46 PM

Here is a link to a back hoe trying to move sand away from the bow.  Kind of gives a new meaning of gnat and person size.

An excavator is trying to help free a ship stuck in the Suez Canal, but a photo shows how hard that'll be (msn.com)

 

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, March 25, 2021 1:50 PM

Euclid
  Just having the ship supported mostly on the ends could do a lot of damage that we cannot see from the photos.

I'm pretty sure the ship is still afloat - just aground at both ends.  Unless the water level of the canal is being lowered, the ship is not just supported at the ends.

The ship is around 1,300 feet long.  As such it's designed to be able to handle longitudinal stresses - it encounters them all the time on the open seas.  I was on a 440 foot Navy vessel in 15-20 foot seas - it was quite a ride...

Check out some videos of ships in big waves.  

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, March 25, 2021 1:59 PM

blue streak 1

Here is a link to a back hoe trying to move sand away from the bow.  Kind of gives a new meaning of gnat and person size.

An excavator is trying to help free a ship stuck in the Suez Canal, but a photo shows how hard that'll be (msn.com)

 

 

Seeing how the soil there is all sand, it makes sense to me that they would come in with some pumping equipment to wash out underneath the ship.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 25, 2021 2:05 PM

Murphy Siding
 
blue streak 1

Here is a link to a back hoe trying to move sand away from the bow.  Kind of gives a new meaning of gnat and person size.

An excavator is trying to help free a ship stuck in the Suez Canal, but a photo shows how hard that'll be (msn.com) 

Seeing how the soil there is all sand, it makes sense to me that they would come in with some pumping equipment to wash out underneath the ship.

Read reports that what the ship is hung up on is much more rock than sand.  Which is what you would expect at the edges of the canal - rock will hold the canal's perimeter, sand would wash along with the movement of the water.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, March 25, 2021 3:18 PM

I am sure that the ship is still partly supported by buoyancy over its entire length but reports say that when it rotated, both ends rode up on the sand and assumed additional weight loading through the bow and stern.   

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 26, 2021 1:55 AM

These reports of long delays for salvage reinforces the question.   What will happen in the short futue times when container ships are not arriving on the east coast ?  Scheduling of containers to east coast ports ( including gulf ) may cause them to be held back in a lot of rail yards,  Those ships that can go to west coast ports is another question.  Are RRs nimble enough to start planning and maybe instituting embargos ? 

With the back ups at the Pannama canal will there be some US and Canadian land bridge container trains.  I imagine Greyhounds can think of many more problems ?u

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 26, 2021 1:56 AM

These reports of long delays for salvage reinforces the question.   What will happen in the short futue times when container ships are not arriving on the east coast ?  Scheduling of containers to east coast ports ( including gulf ) may cause them to be held back in a lot of rail yards,  Those ships that can go to west coast ports is another question.  Are RRs nimble enough to start planning and maybe instituting embargos ? 

With the back ups at the Pannama canal will there be some US and Canadian land bridge container trains.  I imagine Greyhounds can think of many more problems ?

Think I will chage the title.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, March 26, 2021 9:19 AM
 

Due to Ever Given's grounding in the canal. Some vessels are turning around to take the Cape Route around Africa.

 Update: Just learned that Ever Given was having mechanical issues (possibly its steering) before it entered the canal. The weather just exacerbated the situation.
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, March 26, 2021 9:59 AM

They  say that the canal saves 10 days from a journey that would otherwise be routed around Africa.  Perhaps just a "rare mileage" opportunity for ships crews?

Seems to me that hydraulic mining equipment would be a good tool to put in service to try and free the ship.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, March 26, 2021 10:24 AM

Thinking out loud, bear with me-

Let's say the ship was heading north in the north-south canal. The wind blows hard and turns the ship at an angle toward one shore or the other. The ship plows into the bank under power and buries the bow into the bank. Let's say the wind was out of the west. That could conveivably push the bow into the east bank. How did the tail end of the ship get buried into the west bank? Wouldn't the same wind tend to push the tail end east as well?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, March 26, 2021 10:31 AM

blue streak 1

What will happen in the short futue times when container ships are not arriving on the east coast ? 

I'm not entirely sure that will happen.  I was under the impression that the group of ships that cycle Europe-US would be a different pool of ships than the Asia-Europe pool that use the Suez.  Outbound European shipments to the US wouldn't be directly impacted.  The delays come later when Europe-bound ships can't berth, regardless of origin.

I'd suspect that drawing out the chain of inbounds to Europe around Africa could help mitigate port congestion.  Shippers and receivers would see vast delays, but the actual berth space might be able to absorb the traffic better than waiting for everyting to surge through the canal when it opens.

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