And with over 300 ships and billions of dollars-worth of cargo stalled at the entrances to the Suez Canal, many operators had already rerouted vessels around the Cape of Good Hope.
About 15% of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, which is a key source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt.
Some 369 ships are now stalled as they wait for the canal to reopen, Rabie told the Al-Arabiya news channel Sunday.
Ikea and Dixons Carphone are among retailers with goods stuck on the container ship that is now stranded in the Suez Canal.
A canal official, who requested anonymity, said that the team on the ground had started technical checks, and were reassured that the ship's motor was working.
Officials began preparing to unload cargo from the Ever Given after the massive cargo ship has remained lodged in the Suez Canal since Tuesday.
The company said that 32 Maersk and partner vessels would be directly affected by the end of the weekend, with 15 re-routed, and the numbers could increase unless the canal was reopened.
On Monday morning, an Associated Press journalist could see that the ship's position had distinctly changed - where previously only the ship's stern was visible, the ship's side could now be seen.
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie told Egypt's Extra News on Sunday.
USA crude fell 55 cents, or 1 per cent, to $60.42 a barrel.
Further tugging effort to move the ship is to resume today after 11:30 AM in Egypt (3 PM in India), when the next high tide is expected to cause the water level to rise. Another powerful tugboat, Carlo Magno, was racing to the scene to join the efforts.
Shoei Kisen, the ship's Japanese owner, told Nikkei that the ship was pulled by tugboats, as well as engaging the engine of the ship to add power.
The ship, called the Ever Given, has been blocking the trade route for nearly a week. Over 19,000 ships passed through a year ago, according to canal authorities. About 12% of global trade goes through Suez, and hundreds of vessels have been backed up at each end of the 190 km canal. The unprecedented shutdown could affect oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East.
"Unfortunately, even when the canal re-opens for the huge backlog of ships waiting at anchorage this will lead to a surge in arrivals at certain ports and we may experience fresh congestion problems", Caroline Becquart, Senior Vice President with MSC said in a statement.
It has roughly 20,000 containers on board including electricals, furniture and livestock. Dredgers had also been vacuuming the sand and mud that the vessel is stuck in, while diggers excavate the eastern wall of the Suez canal.