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

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

March 11, 2021

 

 

Healthcare professionals are often described as the heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.

For more than a year, they have shown a remarkable resilience. Under extreme duress, they have expanded their skill repertoire and stretched their own physical and emotional limits to provide complex and compassionate care. The article underscores the difficulty of formulating capacity plans to  respond quickly and effectively to successive surges in demand while normal revenue streams are constrained.

 


Video Spotlight: Burnout in the ICU


This post is based on The New York Times article, See How Covid-19 Has Tested the Limits of Hospitals and Staff, by J. Keefe, Y. Parshina-Kottas, & S. Fink, February 23, 2021, and the YouTube video, COVID-19: Doctors and Nurses Talk about Burnout as Another Wave Hits U.S., by TIME, November 23, 2020. Image source: Chaikom/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the capacity plans needed to deal with sudden increases in demand volume and mix?

Guidance: To overcome the increased utilization of ICUs around the country, new areas have been repurposed and can accommodate COVID-19 patients. The staffing of these expanded ICUs has been more challenging. ICU care requires specialized personnel. As a result, pulling Continue reading

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Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

December 30, 2020

On November 18, 2020, the FAA lifted the grounding order for Boeing’s 737 Max airplanes. After two fatal crashes, which were determined to be the result of flaws in a system software upgrade, the 737 Max has been grounded for about 20 months.

Southwest is the largest customer for the 737 Max (though not mentioned in the article, its entire fleet is comprised of 737 models).  34 completed aircraft are in “desert hibernation” in Victorville, CA, awaiting upgrades and FAA certification.  With the grounding order lifed, company mechanics are heading to Victorville to make the planes airworthy for travel to maintenance facilities for further work.

Although the planes were maintained in active storage, each one will require 280 hours of work and approved changes prior to this flight out of storage.

The bigger question is how customers will react.  Surveys indicate 25% are not comfortable flying the plane, so Southwest will allow penalty-free flight changes for those who choose to avoid this aircraft.

The Max is expected to enter revenue service in the second quarter of 2021.  In the meantime, 8,000 Southwest pilots will receive additional training including simulator time.


Video Spotlight: 

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