Don’t be so damn stupid

Suez Shows Civilization Is More Vulnerable Than We Think
Choke points imperil global supply chains, and the remedies aren’t simple or cheap.

One of the major trade arteries is indeed out of action. The result? Fractions of a percentage point on the price of certain imported items as they go off and use another trade route around the Cape of Good Hope.

That a major part of the system has just fallen over and near nothing has happened shows robustness, not fragility.

21 thoughts on “Don’t be so damn stupid”

  1. Wasn’t the Canal closed for decades? Didn’t that llead to the construction of even bigger supertankers and container ships?

  2. I have to admit I haven’t really looked into this but there is a longboat sideways in big fucking canal? And now toilet paper is going to be scarce and cost bloody fortunes? Why don’t just blow the bloody thing out of the water?

  3. I get it now, in bruges quote to which I actually replied to. It’s a big fucking canal!

    The hotel shootout.

  4. “That a major part of the system has just fallen over and near nothing has happened…”

    Would you have expected anything to have happened? The goods in the supply chain previous to the closure are still working their way to the end consumer. It’ll be when the chain empties the effects will be felt. And for a long time. There will be ships out of position for future scheduled voyages compounding the problem.

  5. I agree with you Tim. I’d say the mad coronapanic has caused much more damage to our supply chains. And at least I’M ok.

  6. He’s right on energy – building resiliency and redundancy into energy production and distribution is a shockingly difficult and expensive task, which explains why despite the effort (and of course climate panic) we suck at it so badly. Just in recent memory, Texas, Auckland, South Australia, NE US have all had major electricity outages. Melbourne had no gas supply for weeks. I’m sure there are many more. First thing I’ll be doing when I’m a home owner again instead of tenant is get a diesel generator.

    Internet – well, he’s correct in saying it was designed to be decentralized, but as executed this is not true. Lots of vulnerabilities there.

    Closure of the Suez is barely a blip on the choke point Richter Scale, I’m sure it’s factored into millions of business continuity plans around the world. Probably more because of potential political problems than a big ship going sideways, but it’s an obvious one.

  7. System collapse=eco-freak wanking fantasy.

    Probably more so given the images of the female who was supposedly Captain (?) or at least driving when it ran aground. Not too shabby at all-see from 6.20 onwards in below video.. Somewhat better than the usual low standards of this blog-if not Helen of Troy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xsVERxmrfo&t=465s

    The

  8. What idiot designed a transport system with a single point of failure ?

    Why a Frenchman, of course.

  9. I heard the TV journo’s report say it’s holding up £7million pounds of cargo A DAY! Having worked on Bunkers projects , that possibly might be what’s in the jammed up ships fuel tanks.

  10. Physical reason it happened is interesting – if some of the reporting is accurate, it sounds like it was just a matter of time. Wonder if some very expensive work all along the canal is going to be needed to stop any repeats.

    In the Suez Canal, Economics and Physics Make for Tough Sailing
    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/in-the-suez-canal-economics-and-physics-make-for-tough-sailing-11616846400

    The bank effect and the big boat blocking the Suez
    https://www.ft.com/content/171c92ec-0a44-4dc5-acab-81ee2620d3c1

    You may need to open in an incognito tab or even search the title in Google News to get access.

  11. I was somewhat amused to find out that you could run aground in a canal, but obviously Suez is not the Grand Union. Suez has beaches. Apparently.

  12. The only stuff stuck is those ships that got into the canal before it was known it was blocked – you can’t reverse and you can’t turn around. Everybody else is able to *not* enter the canal and go the long way around. Anybody who has still been going up the Red Sea in the last week is a moron who should be fired by their company’s logistics managers.

    And go with Tim’s numbers thing. One day is 0.3% of the year, the Suez canal takes Europe-Asia shipping, stick a finger in the air, that’s maybe one tenth/one fiftieth of all global trade, …gets calculator… 0.006%-0.03% of global trade per day – a rounding error.

  13. “I heard the TV journo’s report say it’s holding up £7million pounds of cargo A DAY! Having worked on Bunkers projects , that possibly might be what’s in the jammed up ships fuel tanks.”

    Having watched ZeroZeroZero I realised that all that cocaine won’t smuggle itself.

  14. RLJ: the canal has gently-sloping sides, and a lot of the width is unnavigable. This cross-section will explain:
    https://twitter.com/malte_humpert/status/1375205856699052034

    About a third of the ship is stuck.

    And I saw a video on Twitter last night where a sailor explained that part of the problem is the ship is supported/stuck at both ends, with support in the middle varying with the tides. If that caries on long enough, the ship could start to break up.

  15. Rlj why the surprise at a ship running aground in a canal. The accumulated “mud” in the Grand Union canal could trap anything that drew more than about a foot at certain bendy points

  16. Everybody else is able to *not* enter the canal and go the long way around.

    They won’t have the fuel to go around Africa and getting fuelled won’t be easy. The ships will be configured for their pre-planned “smooth sailing” route; the seas around the Cape of Good Hope are rough.

    Anybody who has still been going up the Red Sea in the last week is a moron who should be fired by their company’s logistics managers.

    Joining the queue is still the sensible bet. There’s a good chance Ever Given will be underway as soon as tomorrow.

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