Have you recently tried to buy a computer, Peloton exercise bike or new furniture? If so, you may well have experienced an unexpectedly delayed delivery. You’d be in the same boat as millions of other consumers and corporate buyers in the western world. Though your order may have been stuck in one of the many thousands of containers on the Ever Given, the ship held up in the Suez Canal for months, the most likely reason for delayed deliveries is the global shortage of containers. The metal boxes that make global trade possible are in very short supply – with a domino effect on supply chains worldwide. And it all began with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kiel, May 6th, 2021: On Thursday, the Institute for the World Economy presented a new, AI-based leading indicator for international trade based on real-time data from global container shipping. On the basis of up to 250,000 continuously collected data points from up to 200,000 position data and up to 50,000 additional data on inlets and outlets, supplied by FleetMon, the Kiel scientists offer continuous monitoring of imports and exports of the largest economies China, Europe, and the USA.
Arctic shipping routes are maritime paths used to traverse the Arctic ocean. They have long been sought, even since historical times as a way to substantially reduce the travel distance between ports. But these routes cannot be traversed readily due to the presence of ice at the Arctic. With the advent of global warming and associated climate change phenomena, the Arctic ice is melting at a record pace. While this is a grim foreshadowing of things to come, a few countries stand to make a tidy profit from this, namely from the ice being replaced by navigable water. But even for these countries, do the benefits really outweigh the costs?