Even though the Suez Canal is no longer blocked by the MV Ever Given, several big and small companies like Ikea and Lenovo are stuck with a larger problem as cargo worth $780 million is trapped onboard the seized vessel in the Suez Canal.
The Japanese-owned vessel blocked the Suez Canal for six days in late March this year which was later freed and was impounded along with the cargo in the 18,300 containers onboard against a compensation worth $1.19 billion claimed by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) from the owner.
The legal battle that has followed the accident has also become a matter of concern for the cargo owners as the negotiations on the compensation are likely to keep getting delayed due to the proceedings with the cargo at stake.
Will Pearson the director of Pearson 1860 a UK bicycle maker, one of the smaller companies whose cargo is trapped on the MV Ever Given believes that the goods might be stuck for years if the legal battle continues. Another worrisome issue for the cargo owners is the lack of transparency about the legal proceedings from the end of the owner.
The delay in the release of the trapped merchandise is not the largest issue on the minds of these companies, as they fear that the cargo worth millions might be added to the settlement deal between the SCA and the owner of the MV Ever Given according to the maritime principle of ‘General average’, which makes the cargo owners equally liable to the loss incurred due to the accident and therefore share the burden of compensation with the shipping company.
But at the moment the hands of the cargo owners are tied.