Best Of 2021: We’re Finally Learning What Kind Of Cargo Is Stuck In The Ever Given's 18,000 Containers But Its Fate Is Unknown

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Was 2021 a great year? Not exactly! But we did have some posts that did good traffic. Take a walk down memory lane with us, as we think back on 2021, a year that will seem much better by this time in 2022.

The shipping industry is still feeling the pain from the fallout of the ‘Ever Given’ blocking up the Suez Canal. Now we’re starting to learn a bit about not only what remains stuck on the ship, but the contents of the 64,887 containers that were stuck on other ships because of the blockage.

The big boat is still being held by the Suez Canal Authority until someone responsible for it pays up. Until then, the goods in the 18,000 containers onboard are stuck. But what’s in those containers and how are owners of the cargo getting their goods?


According to American Shipper via supply chain management software company E2open, the ship is at 85 percent capacity and E2open is tracking about 10 percent of the cargo, though they wouldn’t disclose what was in that 10 percent or who owned it. Luckily, American Shipper has an anonymous source:

Maritime sources with knowledge of the Ever Given’s manifest tell American Shipper the following product categories are on the vessel, in order from the most twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to the least: electronics, machinery and parts, household goods, furniture and footwear. For legal reasons, American Shipper is not allowed to provide exact percentages.


The various owners of all of that cargo have to sit and wait for an unspecified amount of time while the ship is effectively held hostage. These owners are begging the ship’s operator, Evergreen Marine, to unload it.

However, that sounds like it’s easier said than done. According to Janet Porter of Lloyd’s List (a shipping information service) speaking to NPR, it’s even worse than that because the cargo is being held by the Suez Canal Authority as well. And even if the cargo owners struck a deal to get their cargo back, good luck physically getting the containers off of the ship, from NPR:

Porter says even if some deal was worked out, it’s almost physically impossible to remove the cargo. She says there’s no equipment capable of removing containers stacked eight or nine high where the Ever Given is currently anchored. Porter says the massive ship would have to be moved to unload it.

You’d need huge cranes that can reach across, on this case, 23 rows of containers. And they only really exist in the big Asian and European ports or maybe in LA Long Beach. But they don’t exist in Egypt.


So the owners of the cargo basically have to sit and wait for the ship to be freed.

We also know a bit more about what else was held up on other ships by while the Ever Givenwas stuck. We previously noted that the ship delayed the materials used to make crucial garden gnomes from reaching the UK. A total of 64,887 containers were held up on other ships carrying everything from car parts and beer to household products. Over 28,000 of those containers were on their way to the States.


The saga with the Ever Given continues. Hopefully a resolution is reached soon so the ship’s crew can go home and products can finally reach their destinations.