(Bloomberg) — For a nation that provides safe passage for so many ships through its waters, Egypt offered up rather special treatment for the Ever Given.
The 400-meter-long container ship began its voyage out of the canal on Wednesday after a ceremony attended by dignitaries, diplomats and company officials from around the world. The last time the Suez Canal Authority, which hosted the event, produced this much fanfare was in 2015, when an $8 billion expansion project was completed within a year. The ship is slated to sail into the Mediterranean and then to Rotterdam.
This time though, the event was as much about closure as celebration. Because it was the Ever Given, the giant Japanese-owned vessel carrying some $1 billion worth of cargo, that last March lost control as it traveled north through the canal, crashing into the banks and blocking the waterway like a giant cork for nearly a week. The incident roiled global markets and transfixed the world.