Ever Given arrives in Rotterdam months late
Container ship Ever Given, which made world news in March when it got stranded in the Suez Canal and blocked the main shipping route between Asia and Europe for days, finally arrived in Rotterdam on Thursday morning - some four months later than planned.
The Ever Given has around 20 thousand containers of goods on board. So there are many cargo owners wondering what their stock looks like after four months at sea.
The ship got suck in the Suez Canal in March, leaving hundreds of other ships queuing in the canal or making a massive detour. The Ever Given was finally freed and towed away six days later, with the help of Dutch dredging company Boskalis. But then it spent months detained by the Egyptian authorities due to a dispute over the damages, according to RTL Nieuws. The Ever Given was finally released on July 7, after which it sailed slowly towards Europe.
"There was no place at the quay," a spokesperson for the Rotterdam Port Authority explained to the broadcaster. So there was no reason for the crew to hurry. "These ships are often gone within a day, but this one stays in place longer because cargo from Germany also comes here. Only now there's room."
Robbert Jan Dekker, director of timber trade Koninklijke Dekker, is one of the cargo owners anxiously waiting to see what condition his goods will be in. His company has 12 containers on board, filled with wooden garden tiles, planed decking, roof edge panels, and interior door frames. His cargo is well packed, but whether it was packed well enough to protect wood in a closed container for four months, with Egypt's very hot days and very cold nights, remains to be seen.
"These temperature differences can cause the wood to mold, because it has not been pre-dried," Dekker explained to RTL Nieuws. "If the container is not properly clean, you will get condensation, with black drops falling from the ceiling. Hopefully the packaging held back the most." He has staff standing ready to inspect the cargo as soon as it is possible. "Fortunately, we can scrub off surface mold."
"Twelve containers is not much for us. They arrive here every day. But the ships that were behind the Ever Given were also delayed due to the blockade. We were not able to deliver everything to our customers, such as wholesalers and DIY stores, on time. They fined us unceremoniously because we were late. They are very hard on that, even under these circumstances," Dekker said.
He will also not be able to sell the products on the Ever Given immediately, because the season in which people work in their gardens is almost over. "The goods such as the wooden garden tiles are not fashion sensitive, we can also sell them next year." But that also means extra costs for storage in the winter, he said.