• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

DWG

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
645
The strategic implications of this are interesting. First thing I did on hearing about it was check Ever Given's nationality, and breathe a sigh of relief when she turned out to be Taiwanese, because a Chinese vessel blocking the canal could have been a set-up for something unpleasant in the Taiwan Strait. But the length of time she's taking to clear has to have people thinking about the possible uses of blockships in both PLAN and PACFLT headquarters.

I would have thought people would have been thinking about the use of blockships for several decades....
True, but it's the kind of practical demonstration that concentrates the mind. Particularly as it showed even just a beached and otherwise seaworthy vessel is a much more difficult salvage task than might have been predicted.
 

Moose

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
386

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,623
Reaction score
1,776
It's interesting that the SB convoy would go first. Not that I have a horse in the race, I just wonder what sort of negotiation goes into making that determination.

I think it's logistically necessary. They had a mass of SB ships already stuck in the Great Bitter Lake (GBL) that needed to leave to make room for new vessels. While they are southbound, it makes sense to also start the next SB convoy from the Med. That leg is longer than the leg from the GBL to Port Suez in the south, anyway, so the SB GBL ships will clear the southern segment of the canal before the SB ships from the Med reach the GBL. Then the NB convoy from Suez starts, and passes the SB convoy from the Med in the GBL. This is probably the fastest way to restart two-way traffic.
 

T. A. Gardner

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
150
It's interesting that the SB convoy would go first. Not that I have a horse in the race, I just wonder what sort of negotiation goes into making that determination.

I think it's logistically necessary. They had a mass of SB ships already stuck in the Great Bitter Lake (GBL) that needed to leave to make room for new vessels. While they are southbound, it makes sense to also start the next SB convoy from the Med. That leg is longer than the leg from the GBL to Port Suez in the south, anyway, so the SB GBL ships will clear the southern segment of the canal before the SB ships from the Med reach the GBL. Then the NB convoy from Suez starts, and passes the SB convoy from the Med in the GBL. This is probably the fastest way to restart two-way traffic.
There should be no northbound ships there. The northern portion of the canal was open so those ships could transit. It would be the southbound ones that are bottled up, hence clearing them out of the lake is a necessity before normal traffic can resume.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,623
Reaction score
1,776
It's interesting that the SB convoy would go first. Not that I have a horse in the race, I just wonder what sort of negotiation goes into making that determination.

I think it's logistically necessary. They had a mass of SB ships already stuck in the Great Bitter Lake (GBL) that needed to leave to make room for new vessels. While they are southbound, it makes sense to also start the next SB convoy from the Med. That leg is longer than the leg from the GBL to Port Suez in the south, anyway, so the SB GBL ships will clear the southern segment of the canal before the SB ships from the Med reach the GBL. Then the NB convoy from Suez starts, and passes the SB convoy from the Med in the GBL. This is probably the fastest way to restart two-way traffic.
There should be no northbound ships there. The northern portion of the canal was open so those ships could transit. It would be the southbound ones that are bottled up, hence clearing them out of the lake is a necessity before normal traffic can resume.

That's what I said. The only NB ships In my comment are those from the Red Sea going toward the GBL and the Med.
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
873
Reaction score
420
I would have thought people would have been thinking about the use of blockships for several decades....
True, but it's the kind of practical demonstration that concentrates the mind. Particularly as it showed even just a beached and otherwise seaworthy vessel is a much more difficult salvage task than might have been predicted.
This incident says plenty about the level of competence and preparedness of the Egyptian government. Or lack thereof.
The Iranians, Yemeni Libyan and AQ factions must have taken notes at some point, and could be smiling.
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
5,183
Reaction score
3,085
I would have thought people would have been thinking about the use of blockships for several decades....
True, but it's the kind of practical demonstration that concentrates the mind. Particularly as it showed even just a beached and otherwise seaworthy vessel is a much more difficult salvage task than might have been predicted.
This incident says plenty about the level of competence and preparedness of the Egyptian government. Or lack thereof.
The Iranians, Yemeni Libyan and AQ factions must have taken notes at some point, and could be smiling.

They managed to unstuck the ship pretty fast and pretty well considering its size, mass, and the way it was stuck.

But I agree this may give ideas to many terrorist SOBs waiting in the shadows (sigh).

"9-11 / USS-Cole hybrid attack & floating bomb - to play havoc with the Suez canal" - for example. Those "people" minds (I'm no sure people is the appropriate word - "animal" or "barbarian" might be better) are so insane and wicked, better not to give them too many ideas of this kind...
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
5,183
Reaction score
3,085
With so many silly Suez-related memes I thought the above was a joke ! d'oh !
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
634
Reaction score
682
Doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. Then again, this is the person who thought that nuclear powered trebuchets were viable weapon systems, back when he was younger.
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
1,925
Reaction score
811
I was wondering if some money had changed hands for the incident to happen in the first place, cheaper than terrorist attacks, fore shore.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,129
Reaction score
3,950
I was wondering if some money had changed hands for the incident to happen in the first place, cheaper than terrorist attacks, fore shore.
There are reports that the Ever Green had suffered a major computer systems failure at the time of the accident.


nuclear powered trebuchets were viable weapon systems
Aieeeee! You'll give desperate bean counters ideas!

On an interesting note, I believe the idea of a canal along the border has actually been seriously proposed in the recent past!
 

DWG

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
645
I would have thought people would have been thinking about the use of blockships for several decades....
True, but it's the kind of practical demonstration that concentrates the mind. Particularly as it showed even just a beached and otherwise seaworthy vessel is a much more difficult salvage task than might have been predicted.
This incident says plenty about the level of competence and preparedness of the Egyptian government. Or lack thereof.

I'm not sure the Egyptian government really comes out of it that badly, the major factor in the time taken was apparently sourcing ocean-going salvage tugs.
 

Hobbes

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
957
Reaction score
395
There was an article in my newspaper that describes how Rotterdam is handling the expected influx of containers: they're clearing the container storage areas as much as possible, looking for spaces they can temporarily use to store containers and e.g. requesting haulage companies not to deliver containers earlier than they're needed.
 

Hobbes

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
957
Reaction score
395
On another tangent:

unfortunately that article is paywalled. It seems to be about the Eurasian land bridge, i.e. rail links between China and Europe. Some of these are already in operation.

Their big limitation is capacity. A train carries ~50 containers. Ever Given carries 20,000, so each ship that size requires ~400 trains to replace it. Rotterdam receives on the order of 22000 containers/day, so you'd need a train to arrive every 3.6 minutes all day long to replace that. That much traffic requires 4 dedicated tracks all the way from Rotterdam to Shenzen.
 

DWG

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
645

A train carries ~50 containers. Ever Given carries 20,000, so each ship that size requires ~400 trains to replace it. Rotterdam receives on the order of 22000 containers/day, so you'd need a train to arrive every 3.6 minutes all day long to replace that. That much traffic requires 4 dedicated tracks all the way from Rotterdam to Shenzen.
And considerably more than 4 tracks to unload it at the railhead! Each train would need access to an unloading crane, and a quick google suggests maximum unloading speed for quayside gantries is about 1 container a minute. I don't expect trackside cranes to be particularly faster. So a 50 container train would need at least 50 minutes to unload. Or close enough to an hour by the time you've marshalled it into place. 15 trains an hour means a minimum of a 15 track unloading facility, each track with its own crane. 15 tracks isn't unprecedented for goods yards, but it's still a big yard. And you either need trucks to take them away, or container stackers to shunt them around if you're holding them on site.
 

BAROBA

3D artist
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
338
Reaction score
17
Website
www.baroba.be

A train carries ~50 containers. Ever Given carries 20,000, so each ship that size requires ~400 trains to replace it. Rotterdam receives on the order of 22000 containers/day, so you'd need a train to arrive every 3.6 minutes all day long to replace that. That much traffic requires 4 dedicated tracks all the way from Rotterdam to Shenzen.
And considerably more than 4 tracks to unload it at the railhead! Each train would need access to an unloading crane, and a quick google suggests maximum unloading speed for quayside gantries is about 1 container a minute. I don't expect trackside cranes to be particularly faster. So a 50 container train would need at least 50 minutes to unload. Or close enough to an hour by the time you've marshalled it into place. 15 trains an hour means a minimum of a 15 track unloading facility, each track with its own crane. 15 tracks isn't unprecedented for goods yards, but it's still a big yard. And you either need trucks to take them away, or container stackers to shunt them around if you're holding them on site.
I happen to work in that sector... Ships, trucks and trains...
You can have multiple cranes per track... Depends on how big the terminal is..
But 15 tracks is not something I have seen at a (intermodal)terminal, I see usually around 8 tracks.
I see more and more terminal pop-up in Eastern Europe that are connections between the Asian trainnetworks and the European networks. Specialising in moving containers from one track-system to another.
It is also possible to store containers 2 on top of each other, so in effect doubling capacity of a train. ( Something common in China and the USA, but not allowed in Europe)
There are already different routes from China into Europe, and more may be on the way.

Rob
 

Hobbes

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
957
Reaction score
395
Whether double-stacking is allowed, depends on the loading gauge of the rail network (the maximum dimensions of a train). Much of Europe's rail infrastructure predates the ISO container, it's difficult/expensive to modify existing rail lines for a new loading gauge because you have to rebuild all the viaducts and tunnels.
 

DWG

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
645
15 tracks isn't unprecedented for goods yards, but it's still a big yard. And you either need trucks to take them away, or container stackers to shunt them around if you're holding them on site.

But 15 tracks is not something I have seen at a (intermodal)terminal, I see usually around 8 tracks.
The big classification yards can go much bigger. The one at Kijfhoek for Rotterdam is 42 tracks, and Amsterdam-Noord is apparently over 100, but they aren't intermodal. Maschen outside of Hamburg is supposed to be Europe's largest at 112 tracks.
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
396
Outside of capacity, there is also the issue of cost. It’s hard to beat containership pricing so long as travel time isn’t a factor.
 

DWG

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
865
Reaction score
645
Whether double-stacking is allowed, depends on the loading gauge of the rail network (the maximum dimensions of a train). Much of Europe's rail infrastructure predates the ISO container, it's difficult/expensive to modify existing rail lines for a new loading gauge because you have to rebuild all the viaducts and tunnels.
Which is why few if any European train designs get adopted as-is by the UK despite otherwise similar requirements, our loading gauge* is more restrictive than the European loading gauges which means they need to be physically re-sized, which may mean internal re-arrangement of the power systems, and it all gets fiendishly expensive. (It's also why the UK doesn't do double-deck passenger trains)

* Except for the HS1/Channel Tunnel Line, and HS2 specific stock in the future.
 
Top