It's not clear how much of the $550 million Egypt demanded it actually got, but it was enough to spring a container ship. The Ever Given has begun its departure from the Suez Canal, where just a few months ago it created an international headache when it got stuck in the waterway, blocking it for nearly a week. The BBC reports that the owners and insurers of the ship—which has been anchored at the canal's halfway point, Great Bitter Lake, for the past three months—finalized a deal on Wednesday with the Suez Canal Authority that compensates the SCA for the ordeal and finally sets the ship free.
The Ever Given was stuck in the canal for six days in March, blocking hundreds of other ships and wreaking havoc on global trade. SCA had originally demanded nearly $920 million from Shoei Kisen, the Japanese company that owns the Ever Given, for the costs of the rescue and to pay for damage to the canal, but after the ship's insurer balked at that "largely unsupported" figure, the price was eventually lowered to $550 million. The terms of the deal haven't yet been revealed. Per Reuters, the ship, still loaded with more than 18,000 containers, started heading north in the canal Wednesday, with reports noting it was escorted by two tugboats and in the hands of "two experienced pilots." Sources tell the Wall Street Journal its next port of call will be Rotterdam in the Netherlands, followed by the UK's Felixstowe, where the ship will offload its containers. (Read more Suez canal stories.)