Almost one year to the day after the Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, slowing global logistics and causing shipping costs to skyrocket, one of its sister ships has suffered a similar fate in the US. The Ever Forward, owned by the same company as the Ever Given, has run aground in the Chesapeake Bay.
Will this vessel’s unfortunate fate slow shipping in the US the same way the Ever Given blockage snarled logistics lanes for Europe and the Middle East? Thankfully, this time is a bit different.
The Ever Forward ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay on March 13, almost exactly one year after its sister ship blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt. The massive cargo vessel missed a turn in the Chesapeake and ran directly into a muddy embankment in the shallow water north of Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The 1,085-foot vessel wasn’t damaged by the event, but it is badly stuck in the mud.
Thankfully for US shipping, the boat isn’t blocking the waterway or directly impacting any other ships. While some vessels have been slowed avoiding the massive Ever Forward’s immobile bulk, cargo ships continue passing through Boston without issue.
The only way for the Ever Forward incident to delay your package is if you’re unlucky enough to have ordered something currently aboard that ship. The port authorities have slowed the speed within the Bay to just 8 knots for cargo vessels, which could cause delays of a few hours at a time. However, these aren’t major enough for most customers to notice any lag time in their orders.
If your order is on the Ever Forward, though, there’s nothing you can do but wait. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently working to free the vessel, but it’s tricky. The entire ship has run aground.
“Worst-case scenario is, number one, she suffers a crack and starts leaking fuel oil, basically diesel fuel, into the bay,” says Campbell University maritime history professor Salvatore Mercogliano. “The worst scenario is the ship rolls to starboard and you have a vessel on its side in the middle of the channel.”
The good news for engineers right now is that the incident resulted in no damage to the ship, its crew, or its cargo. Now, the time-consuming hard work of safely dislodging it from the mud is the top priority.