What happened and why? Ever Given, a 400 metres long container ship with a capacity of 18,000 containers (one of the world’s largest), was recently grounded in the Suez Canal. The incident, which could’ve had worse implications, brought to attention the weak links of our global trading system. 📦 International shipping… Sea transportation accounts for 90% of the trading done across the world. 90%! And yes… this could include your latest shopping spree. The Suez Canal is the point of access between Asia and Europe, connecting the Red and Mediteranean Sea and covering 13% of the world trade: 2019: The Suez Canal was the route of trade for 19,000 vessels, transporting 1.25 billion tons of cargo.2014: The authority in charge started expanding the narrow canal to increase the capacity from a current number of 49 ships to 97 by 2023. 🗺️ The cause… Mixing high winds and narrow trade arteries is a recipe for disaster. Based on the numbers splayed above, incidents like this one could have crucial repercussions. Getting a vessel like the Ever Given back on track is not an easy quest, based on the time, effort and specialist tools required. 10 vessels with a huge load of oil (13 million barrels) were already reported to have been affected by it and having to find another passage, adding an extra 15 days to their initial itinerary. 🚢 With ships of this size, the crew does not have the ability to pull to a sudden halt, their low incident response time leading to vessels being grounded and affecting the global supply chain. In high peak periods like Christmas, this scenario could have had more severe consequences. The takeaway In a world highly led by globalisation, incidents of this nature could have a damaging impact. This particular occurrence will not bear significant effects in the long run, but it does raise some red flags. While vessels are getting larger and larger, transporting hundreds of thousands of tons worth of containers, the narrow canals can not keep up. This is opening them up to hazardous possibilities of both natural or malevolent essence in the form of targeted attacks with extensive footprints on both local and global trade.