Though on at least some of those routes, there be Pirates! The international community is still learning quite a bitter lesson about the perils of going soft on piracy...Well, it seems that there would be a surge of interests to other, less popular sea routes - like Sevmorput - to divercify the global logistic.
I don't think this is a major concern, since the ship would not actually get underway once they deballast. They would just be turning her under control of a bunch of tugs. Once back in the channel, they could reballast if needed.
Hopefully it doesn't take them that long to get this ship unstuckThis incident might push Saudi Arabia and Egypt to revive the Red Sea bridge project near the Gulf of Aqaba, so a cargo train could travel from the Arabian Gulf states through Saudi Arabia over that bridge to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and then up north to the Mediterranean Sea, Israel and Europe - or westwards towards North Africa (Atlantic Coast).
The Times Saturday March 27th, 2021
Don't bother with Suez ... the wine's better in Cape Town
Jane Flanagan Cape Town
Cape Town's mayor is promising a five-star welcome to ships which change their course from
the jam at the Suez Canal to go around the Cape of Good Hope.
"Why should they sit in a queue when you can come and spend a couple of days replenishing
in the world's most beautiful city?" Alan Winde pondered.
The shipping lane could be blocked for weeks after the 200,000-tonne Ever Green, one of the
world's largest container ships, ran aground on Tuesday. The stricken vessel's sister ship Ever Greet
is already making for Cape Town, satellite data revealed.
Winde has instructed his officials to "get on it" and make sure that ships making a detour south are
looked after, even if the route around the cape adds up to 12 days to a typical sea passage from
Asia to Europe.
He said: "We can resupply by boat by helicopter or the crew can pull in to get the deals of the century
at our five-star hotels and steady their sea legs on our fabulous beaches. There is no such thing as the
great wines of the Suez Canal!"
As Cape Town has emptied due to coronavirus travel restrictions, the crisis promises a brief return to
the city's maritime peak of the mid-19th century when Herman Melville wrote in Moby Dick, published
in 1851, that around its shores "is where you meet more travellers than any other part".
Portuguese navigators first plotted a trade route to Asia in the 1400s. After weeks sailing south along
the African coast they were relieved finally to be able to swing around the rocky headland of the Cape
of Good Hope.
Dutch traders followed, establishing Cape Town as a supply base, but the opening of the Suez and
Panama canals began a slow decline in its maritime pre-eminence.
May I suggest reviving a technique used during the 1973 Yom Kippur War? During that war, Egyptian military engineers used water jets to blow holes in the steep Eastern Bank of the Suez Canal.
Use massive water pumps to blast sand away from the ship's bow. This reduces risk to back-hoe operators, because they don't have to work in the shadow of the ships.
Hardware is readily available as it is used for "Hydraulic mining" of sediments.
I'm sure container lines are planning a layover so their crews can stay in a 5-star hotel and hit the beach, when they're already two weeks behind schedule. The helicopter thing would be more likely, if the lines were actually willing to pay for a helicopter...
Hopefully resolved soon.
Crazy how vulnerable global trade is, whether by accident or malice.
The entire modern system.. just-in-time logistics of note in particular.
All governed by the pursuit of lower and lower costs.
Being in the freight and haulage industry myself these days, you see it everywhere.
Ironically, Toyota has at least partly abandoned that model in the last decade for things like semiconductor chips.Toyota "just in time" dogma "because stocks are expensive" - more and more looks like a criminally stupid idea.