EUROPE RENAISSANCE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT: Easier and cheaper than PayPal bank transfer donations are essential to keep us publishing. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. You can also help by shopping at our online bookstore and encouraging others to do so. www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com
The Suez Canal has provided a link as important as the jugular vein to the world of commerce since 1858. Its importance has dramatically diminished since a container carrying vessel buried its bows in the canal’s banks and constipated the seaway’s traffic.
The calamity could not have happened at a worse time for the West that presumed it still ruled the seas. Iran (Persia) has already started a rail transport link that will traverse much of Asia as it brings the goods of the East to Europe.
The need for alternative international shipping routes has been highlighted by events on the Suez Canal over the past week. And with their plans already taking shape, Beijing and Moscow are well-positioned to capitalise.
The Suez Canal’s recent spell in the limelight has turned out to be quite revealing. The strategic waterway has dominated headlines for a week after a giant container ship, the Ever Given, got stuck in sand and mud at the canal’s southern end, blocking it and bringing shipping to a halt.
The welcome news emerged yesterday that the crisis is finally over and shipping can resume. The blockage of the canal is a firm reminder of just how fragile core transcontinental shipping routes can be. This was a relatively short blockage, but its consequences will be felt for a long time and will serve as a boost to China and Russia, both of whom are introducing new game-changing intercontinental freight routes.
The Suez Canal is a product of an era during which globalisation, as we understand it today, was emerging, to facilitate the flow of free trade as well as the naval aspirations of empires such as the British and the French.
Cutting through the dividing line between the African and Asian continents, its creation was a revolutionary feat that strategically connected the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, giving a direct intercontinental shipping route from Europe into Asia. No longer was the time-consuming, tremulous journey around the Cape of Good Hope necessary, and the canal’s existence allowed the British to exploit India to their own wishes. In short, Suez changed the world.
As a result, it is no surprise that various episodes in the Suez throughout history, no matter how brief they may have been, have played a key role in prompting big geopolitical shifts. The Suez Crisis of 1956, whereby Britain sought to regain strategic control of the canal following its nationalisation by Egypt’s President Nasser proved to be a moment of reckoning for British Imperialism.
Although the Ever Given hold-up was just a week, it has proven expensive. The estimated costs of blockage in the canal amount to around $9 billion per day and could have a run-on effect of reducing annual global trade growth by 0.2-0.4%. It also sent the cost of shipping up temporarily by 46% as ships were forced to avoid the canal and transit around Africa, with longer and more inconvenient journeys.
It is inevitable that faced with such circumstances, shipping and freight companies will inevitably seek out cheaper, less risky and more effective routes. And most crucially the crisis has come at a time when new alternatives are appearing which are likely to be more competitive than Suez on every level.
The first one is China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Beijing’s global project has invested hundreds of billions in the creation of new ports, railways, and roads on multiple continents, all of which are changing the logistical landscape. One of its most powerful achievements has been the initiation of multiple China-Europe Railway routes, where new cargo trains allow freight to be shipped directly from cities in China across Eurasia as far west as London and Portugal.
There are two main arteries to this project; one which reaches Europe via Russia and branches out into individual countries, and another which crosses central Asia, transits through Turkey, extends up through the Balkans and terminates at Prague.
These routes have dramatically reduced the shipping time for goods across the continent, and as a result of Covid-19, the volume of cargo has surged to a record high.
Secondly, there is Russia’s Northern Sea Route across the Arctic, which extends through the country’s exclusive economic zone and allows a through-route from one end of Eurasia to the other. Moscow is investing heavily in infrastructure as well as ice-breaking ships, touting it as a slick alternative to the risks of Suez.
China is also interested in the far north, too, pledging to create a ‘Polar Silk Road’. The opening of this previously closed region for commerce will undoubtedly speed up shipping times and comes as a part of strategic competition for the Arctic region as a whole, with President Trump’s administration has aggressively renewed America’s interest in Greenland.
While historically great powers such as Britain and France sought to establish and control the strategic route in pursuit of commercial gains, the grounding of the Ever Given illustrates how the powers of today are continuing to compete in creating and sustaining new shipping routes which will completely alter the flow of global commerce.
Suez is back to normal, yet the waters of the canal run still amid the flow of an otherwise changing world as businesses scramble for new and quicker routes to transport their goods following a year of crisis. Things are moving again between the Red and Mediterranean seas, but one might wonder if this proves to be a turning point for Suez, with its significance starting to wane. Source 1, Source 2
PLEASE: We can only bring these vital stories to public notice if we receive financial support. Please contact Michael Walsh at email@example.com
Think your friends would be interested? Share or reblog this story!
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S, THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS
The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 55 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS and SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S.
THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS Michael Walsh. A novel but not a work of fiction. Drawing on his real-life and location experiences this romantic-supernatural biography will ravish the reader. A page-turning terrifying white knuckle ride because these are his real-life apparitional experiences. AMAZON/KINDLE
Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
We are in debt to our donors who finance the distribution of spin-free real news and fearlessly expressed views.
BUY FROM AUTHOR
MEGACAUST Michael Walsh. R. J. Rummel, Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research) 164 million people have been killed in cold blood this century by Capitalist / Communist governments.
SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY Michael Walsh. Covertly sponsored by Wall Street banks and the White House Bolsheviks seized Tsarist Russia (regime change). For 36 years news of Bolshevik atrocities and 70 million martyred Christians were censored by Western media. Lavishly illustrated, this expose reveals secrets removed from Western history books.
When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your signed copy.
KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to email@example.com
BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW
New stories every day!
Categories: Sea Stories