Japanese owner of container ship stuck in Suez Canal says received no compensation claims

Ship Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, is seen after it was fully floated in Suez Canal, Egypt March 29, 2021. Suez Canal Authority/Handout via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shoei Kisen, the Japanese owner of a giant container ship which stuck and blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week, has not received any claims or lawsuits to seek compensation for damages from the blockage, a company official said on Tuesday.

“There have been no claims or lawsuits against our company related to the incident,” Yumi Shinohara, deputy manager at Shoei Kisen’s fleet management department, told Reuters by phone.

“We are still investigating the cause of the incident and the cost including insurance payment and potential compensation for damage,” she said, without elaborating.

Shipping was on the move again late on Monday in Egypt’s Suez Canal after tugs refloated the Shoei Kisen’s 400-metre-long (430-yard) Ever Given which had caused a huge build-up of vessels around the waterway.

The owner and insurers of one of the world’s largest container ships could face claims totalling millions of dollars even if the ship was refloated quickly, industry sources have said.

The ship’s hull is insured by Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, which is under MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co and Sompo Japan Insurance Inc, while UK P&I Club is also the insurer for the ship, Shinohara said.

UK P&I Club has said that it was the protection and indemnity insurer for the Ever Given.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi, editing by Louise Heavens