At last, our great mercantilist nightmare has ended (almost, kind of).
The mammoth cargo ship blocking one of the world’s most vital maritime arteries was wrenched from the shoreline and finally set free on Monday, raising hopes that traffic could soon resume in the Suez Canal and limit the economic fallout of the disruption.
Salvage teams, working on land and water for five days and nights, were ultimately assisted by forces more powerful than any machine rushed to the scene: the moon and the tides.
The ship was ultimately set free at around 3 p.m., according to shipping officials. Horns blared in celebration as images emerged on social media of the once stuck ship on the move.
When I refer to "training" in the title, I'm not talking about all the efforts afloat and ashore to get EVER GIVEN out of the way, but of the opportunity for navalists and mercantilists to review the good points of the Maritime Gods of the Copybook Headings when it comes to choke points.
The Suez Canal handles around 12% of global trade, making it an essential point of passage. Each day of blockage disrupts more than $9 billion worth of goods, according to Lloyd’s List, which translates to about $400 million per hour.
Some ship operators have already decided to re-route their vessels, anticipating that the Ever Given won’t be dislodged soon. Sending ships around the Cape of Good Hope adds more than a week of sailing, while also increasing costs.
Our planet if full of these choke points that by being open to all, keep houses warm and bellies full throughout the world. They do not stay open on their own. Manmade accidents like what happened with EVER GIVEN or even natural disasters will happen now and then ... but the real danger comes from a hostile power or entity blocking free passage. That is one of many reasons you have a navy.
Where are these places? A quick way to start looking at the globe's maritime choke points is to look at the British Empire at its height.