Amazon agrees deal to buy Suez digger for HQ display

The hero digger of the Suez Canal. PHOTO: EPA

Amazon has completed a surprise deal to purchase the heroic digger involved in the refloating of the vessel Ever Given in the Suez Canal, with the aim of displaying the Komatsu machine at its new HQ2 corporate headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

The digger, which gained international fame last week for its part in the refloating efforts, will provide the centrepiece for an art installation designed to remind Amazon employees and visitors of the scale of the global logistics network that underpins the e-commerce giant’s business, and the importance of every player in ensuring that international trade runs smoothly, no matter how small those players may be.

“As a company whose business is very much tied to the health of global supply chains, we paid close attention to the developing story of the Ever Given and its predicament in the Suez Canal,” explained Daryl Laipsoof, Director of Fabrications at Amazon EMEA.

“The impact on our own activities was not insignificant, with stock of Baby Yoda stuffed toys, for example, beginning to reach dangerously low levels at our warehouse in Germany after new deliveries were halted. We were clearly hoping for a quick resolution to the bottleneck that had developed in such an important waterway.”

“As local crews leapt into action, we were heartened to see the extraordinary efforts made to free the ship and allow its containers to be delivered to their destination just a few days late – epitomised by this lone digger fighting against the odds, in real ‘David and Goliath’ style. It may sound absurd, but once the mission was completed and the ship was refloated we knew that we wanted to have that piece of history in the lobby of our corporate headquarters to inspire the Amazon family, reinforcing our message that ‘a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man’.”

The digger is expected to be loaded into a container today, April 1st, to begin its long sea journey to the Port of Norfolk in the US. After unloading it is scheduled to be delivered to Amazon’s HQ2 site within two hours of its receipt by local handlers, using the company’s own Prime Now service.

Editor’s Note – For those visiting from other time zones or catching this story at a later date, we hope you enjoyed our April Fool’s Day contribution!

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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