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