Even Given unstuck and moving, but the cost to global trade will be significant

01.04.2021 Lisa McAuley

Whilst it has been amusing to see the memes about the Ever Given container ship that until recently was blocking the Suez Canal, the impact on global trade and supply chains will have been significant.

Losses from the Ever Given blockage are estimated to reach more than $1 billion trade, at a time when it has been vital that we keep supply chains moving. This is yet another crisis impacting on global recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Suez blockage could be one of the biggest disruptions to global trade in recent years, not discounting that we have seen recent disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, trade wars, Brexit, and increasing risks from climate events.

There were over 350 ships “stuck”, with Swedish giant, Ikea, and Caterpillar Inc among the many international companies facing supply chain disruptions. Hopefully, with the news that they have managed to release the Ever Given, we can see these ships moving soon.

Whilst the GTPA do not think this particular event will impact global supply chain decisions in the long term, it does highlight the current fragility facing corporations on supply chain issues.

The latest crisis once again highlights that today’s global business leaders operate in an increasingly complex and unpredictable environment in which change occurs at an unprecedented speed and magnitude. The future is uncertain, and problems often transcend the boundaries of single organisations or professions. Leaders have always stood ready to help bridge the divide between an untenable present and an uncertain future, and today the need for leaders with the skills and confidence to chart a path for their organisations into a future that is increasingly information-rich but certainty-poor is stronger than ever before.

At the GTPA we recognise that trade uncertainties are at unprecedented levels, exacerbating the need for global business and trade policy leaders with advanced complex and adaptive thinking capabilities that promote business agility to manage unprecedented crises. The Adaptive Leadership in a Globalised world has been developed to uniquely address the challenges global business leaders face.

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