How the Ever Given exposed the fragility of global supply chains

(12 Apr 2021)

Analysis: When the Ever Given blocked one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes for a week, it also exposed the fragility of global supply chains to many.

By Sarah Schiffling, Liverpool John Moores University and Nikolaos Valantasis Kanellos, TU Dublin

For nearly a week, the Ever Given, a 400m long container ship, was wedged across the Suez Canal. Over 360 vessels were stopped. The incident received worldwide media coverage and triggered rare public interest in maritime transport. Ever Given inspired memes filled the timelines.

Shipping companies had to evaluate their options. Waiting in the maritime traffic jam caused significant losses, but the only alternative was to go around the Cape of Good Hope. This adds a week or two of travel time and carries security risks. Lawsuits are pending about compensation costs for late arrivals and insurance claims.

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