Evergreen ship lodged in Chesapeake for a month moving again

Ship had been lodged in Chesapeake Bay mud since mid-March

Evergreen ship lodged in Chesapeake for a month moving again

The Evergreen Marine Corp. container ship that had been stuck in Chesapeake Bay mud for more than a month is moving again, vessel-tracking data show.

The navigational status changed Sunday to “under way using engine” after being classified as “aground” since it got bogged down just off the bay’s main shipping channel after departing the Port of Baltimore on March 13, according to mapping data compiled by Bloomberg. Several attempts to free the Ever Forward with tugs failed, and officials recently offloaded some containers to lighten the load.

The Ever Forward was refloated and following underwater inspections at a nearby anchorage, “will return to the Port of Baltimore and reload the cargo that had been discharged earlier this month and then continue on its previously scheduled voyage,” Evergreen Marine said in statement late on April 17. It added that throughout the refloating efforts, the ship had “been found to be free of damage from the incident” and showed no indication of fuel leakage or pollution.

Ship blockages are another physical hiccup in the global supply chain that has helped fueled U.S. inflation to a 41-year high. Another Evergreen vessel lodged itself in a narrow portion of the Suez Canal last year, disrupting global shipping for months. 

A salvage team led by the U.S. Coast Guard had waited until this weekend with hopes that a full moon and high tides would be able to dislodge the ship after the latest attempt failed. The carrier has close to 5,000 containers on board, while at full capacity it can handle around 12,000 20-foot containers. The company declared general average, which requires owners of the cargo to split the recovery costs. 

William P. Doyle, executive director at the Port of Baltimore, said on Twitter Sunday, said:

“Outstanding leadership by the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Port Administration, and Maryland Environmental Services. A tremendous execution by Don Jon-Smit, the salvage team. Hats off to the Jones Act dredging, marine construction, tug and barge.”

Source: Bloomberg