Negotiations continue between the Suez Canal administration and the various parties which represent the owners of the giant containership Ever Given, the ship and her cargo continue to broil in the growing summer heat of the waterway.

While the amount demanded by the waterway authority has been reduced by about one third, indicating some movement, it might be suggested that there is some distance to go, and one must hope that the crew of the arrested vessel don’t end up as the newest members of the Great Bitter Lakes’ Association. This it may be recalled is the society formed by the crews of the ships which spent many years in that location, when the canal was closed in the 1970s.

Nobody ought to be too judgemental in the absence of any coherent report of what caused the chartered Evergreen ship to run into the bank and cause mayhem to the smooth working of global logistics. But the action of detaining the ship against the payment of what was a staggering sum, will not have made the SCA many friends. This is, after all, a major customer of the waterway, responsible for a respectable slice of its income and this is arguably not the sort of action a customer ought to expect from its service provider, if custom is to be retained.

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