Big Ship Creates Big Backlog

Big Ship Creates Big Backlog

When the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal, its gigantic size became a gigantic problem.

To support an ever-expanding global trade, ship size has been increasing for decades. Today, the largest ships can carry between 18,000 and 24,000 containers.  A larger cargo makes perfect economic sense because the cost of shipping one container decreases as cargo capacity increases. However, when things go wrong, big ships mean big disruptions in an already strained global supply chain. It is estimated that the stranded ship held up 12% of global trade at an estimated cost of $9.6 billion a day. This financial and logistic threat, along with more elusive cost savings in the future, may signal the need for fresh ideas in global shipping.

 


Video Spotlight: The Ripple Effects of the Backlog


This post is based on The New York Times article, Why the World’s Container Ships Grew So Big, by N. Chokshi, March 30, 2021, and the YouTube video, Cargo Ship Freed from Suez Canal, but Shipping Backlog Could Last, by CBC News: The National, March 29, 2021. Image source: (c) Glow Images/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Will the short-lived blockage have a major Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

The future of personal transportation is getting more exciting each day: driverless cars, flying cars, and now electric cars speeding autonomously through a network of tunnels.

Elon Musk is betting that the solution to urban traffic congestion is a ride through a series of tunnels with elevator stations.

Musk’s Boring Company undertook this ambitious project on a test basis. Now it has to perfect the concept and sell it to large cities.


Video Spotlight: The following videos are part of the CBS News article:

  • Tunnel vision
  • Test drive Elon Musk’s new tunnel
  • Elon Musk: Tunnels are “exceptionally safe”
  • How Elon Musk’s tunnel works
  • Elon Musk on why he’s boring tunnels

This post is based on the CBS News article, Elon Musk and Gayle King Test Drive the Tunnel He Hopes Will Solve L.A. Traffic, by CBS News, December 19, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Herdik Herlambang.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the transportation system envisioned by Elon Musk work?

Guidance: Electric, autonomous cars are placed on electric skates or, preferably, are equipped with alignment wheels. These wheels, which can be retracted for driving on regular roads, extend sideways to brace the car against the tunnel.

From the Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter