Evergreen, Which Chartered Ever Given, Says It's Not Responsible for Cargo Delays

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Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., which chartered the Ever Given vessel that grounded in the Suez Canal last week -- halting marine traffic through the waterway for about six days -- said it’s not responsible for delays of any cargo it’s transporting due to the incident.

Evergreen’s agreements with clients don’t guarantee arrival time of cargoes, said President Eric Hsieh, in the company’s first briefing since the blockage. A dozen ships used by Evergreen, including the Ever Given, were impacted by the incident and three have been diverted around the Cape of Good Hope, according to Hsieh.

“Our risk exposure from the Ever Given incident is very low -- even if there are damages, it will be covered by insurance,” Hsieh said at a briefing in Taipei on Thursday. “Evergreen is free of responsibility from cargo delays.”

Evergreen, Which Chartered Ever Given, Says It's Not Responsible for Cargo Delays

The comments come amid expectations of legal claims from all sides. Owners of the goods on board the Ever Given and other ships could seek compensation for delays from their insurers. Those insurers for the cargo can in turn file claims against Ever Given’s owners, who will then look to their insurers for protection.

The giant container ship, which was pried from the bank of the canal on Monday, has been moved north and out of the canal’s main path to be inspected for damage. The shutdown delayed hundreds of ships along a waterway that’s a conduit for about 12% of world trade.

The Ever Given owner, Japan’s Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., has taken some responsibility but said charterers need to deal with the cargo owners. Evergreen’s legal adviser is Ince Gordon Dadds LLP, people familiar with the matter have said.

Responsibility for the giant ship’s grounding will be determined after an investigation, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabi said Monday. He added that the canal authority isn’t at fault and that the ship’s captain -- not the pilot -- was responsible for the vessel.

The company’s sales surged 95% over January and February from a year earlier, according to the executive, who estimated marine traffic on the Suez Canal will likely return to normal volumes on Monday or Tuesday.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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