Suez Canal No Longer Blocked, But Are Damages Incurred from Supply Chain Disruptions Recoverable? by Richard Fechter, JD, CAMS, CFE

Posted on April 15, 2021 by Richard Fechter

The 1,312-foot Ever Given container ship wedged across the Suez Canal for six days in late March upended global trade and created a bottleneck of nearly 400 vessels unable to meet their contractual delivery obligations. Today, even as ships pass freely through the critical waterway that carries 12 percent of the world’s trade volume, businesses and their customers are continuing to feel the economic effects from the temporary disruptions to their supply chains. Most are assessing their damages and are in the process of filing claims for lost profits under business interruption insurance policies.

Generally, business interruption insurance protects shipping companies and their customers from the economic risks that can result from supply chain disruptions, including shipment delays or suspensions that prevent goods from reaching their intended destinations at the time contractually promised. Not only does this mean covered business may recoup lost sales/profits caused by trade disruptions, they may also recover costs they incur for contractual penalties, new supplies or supply lines, additional operating expenses and even lost time and pricing fluctuations. However, quantifying business interruption losses requires specialized skills in evaluating lost profits and other consequential damages.

If you have questions about business-interruption insurance or helping clients pursue claims relating to the Suez Canal blockage, please reach out to Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s Forensic and Advisory Services team at (305) 379-7000 or at