AP Moller-Maersk has begun rediverting ships back to the Suez Canal in expectation of a quick easing of congestion.

Monday's refloating of the grounded 20,388-teu containership Ever Given (built 2018) had blocked the waterway for more than six days.

Traffic has started flowing again, according to Leth Agencies.

The ships' agent said 37 vessels from the Great Bitter Lake have already exited the Suez Canal and 76 are scheduled to transit on Tuesday.

It said 163 vessels are awaiting transit in Suez, 137 in Port Said and six at the Great Bitter Lake.

At the peak of the blockage more than 370 vessels were waiting to transit.

Maersk is the first liner company to divert ships back to the Suez after the refloating.

The Danish shipping giant said: “Having received the good news that the Ever Given vessel had been refloated and [is] on its way to anchorage at the Great Bitter Lake, as well as expecting the canal to be opened for passage within the next 12 to 24 hours, we have decided to turn around two of our redirected [vessels] to continue their original route via the Suez Canal.”

The 18,340-teu Madison Maersk (built 2018) and Merete Maersk (built 2014) have reinstated planned Suez Canal transits. Both ships are at Port Tangier in the Strait of Gibraltar awaiting transit to Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia and Singapore, respectively. They are expected to arrive at the canal on 1 April.

The line operator has about 70 vessels caught up in the congestion around the Suez Canal. It has diverted 15 ships around the Cape of Good Hope.