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Our customers not only build a better world—when something goes awry, they help maintain it, too.
As the world waited and watched for nearly a week, Caterpillar customers were on the job around the clock, helping to refloat a large container ship—named Ever Given—blocking traffic in the Suez Canal.
You’ve no doubt heard the story many times by now. A vessel enroute from China to Europe ran aground in the busy maritime thoroughfare. But it wasn’t just any ship. It was one of the world’s largest container ships—nearly a quarter mile long and weighing 200,000 metric tons—that became stuck in the waterway, blocking traffic in both directions.
You’ve probably also heard that after nearly a week of being lodged diagonally across the canal, the Ever Given was refloated and commenced its journey along the 120-mile historic waterway. The 400+ vessel backlog waiting to pass through the canal finally dissipated, and now it’s business as usual at the global shipping lane.
This you know.
But what you may not know is how the ship was ultimately freed and what role Caterpillar customers played in the rescue. It was, of course, a complicated effort that included numerous companies helping to dislodge the giant vessel—many of them were Caterpillar customers. Some customers owned tugboats or dredgers powered by MaK™ and/or Cat® engines. Some of the vessels work at or near the canal as part of their everyday job. Some teams were summoned from afar.
But they have one thing in common: They were there when the call for help came, and they got the job done. It was a Herculean effort put forth by many who came together and worked as one team. We’re proud to support these customers and our dealers, Mantrac and Unatrac, who supplied service teams and parts for all the MaK- and Cat-powered equipment on location.
Eleven out of the 15 vessels at the site were powered by MaK and Cat for a combined 127 MW / 172.600 HP MaK and Cat, respective 1061 Tons of Bollard Pull. MaK and Cat power was responsible for an amazing 77% of the total available power on location.
Caterpillar Group President Joe Creed said, “We’d like to thank all those who were involved in the chain of events that led to the safe, successful salvage operation of the Ever Given, once again opening maritime traffic in one of the world’s most important waterways.”
The situation at the Suez Canal is an excellent example of how Caterpillar customers help build and maintain a better world. Whenever there’s a call for help of that magnitude, you know Caterpillar customers will be there, helping get the job done—backed by our worldwide dealer network, providing the service customers need.