Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 25, 2021

Stuck In Mud

I am feeling a bit like the operator of that excavator. There is too much to do and too little motivating progress.


Those are 200,000 metric tons stuck in sand and gravel on both ends. Too much weight for the usual tugs to pull it off.


They will probably have to lighten the ship and dredge the sand at both end . That may well take several days or weeks.


These swimming walls are now too big. They are difficult to maneuver. With this height of the load the slightest gust of wind will move the ship in unintended ways. There was a sand storm in the area when this one got stuck. Unless a crew is extremely attentive and immediately uses the bow and rear thrusters any gust will push it off course. Add the bank effect which sucks the ship towards the canal walls and such an outcome is inevitable.

Brendan Greeley @bhgreeley - 12:40 UTC · Mar 25, 2021

Water moves differently around a boat in a tight canal than it does in the open ocean. When water gets squeezed between the hull and the sand, the water accelerates, and its pressure drops /2
When the hull gets too close to the bank, the pressure drop sucks the hull in to the bank. This is called the "bank effect." In shallow water, like in the Suez, the stern moves toward the bank, but the bow moves away. The boat spins. /3
The bigger the hull, the more water it displaces, the stronger the effect. The closer the hull is to the bank, the stronger the effect. So big, wide boat = strong bank effect. And container ships are getting HUGE. /4


Fifteen years ago I wrote about a record breaking ship I had photographed in Hamburg's harbor:

TEU Monsters

Find the people on the foredeck.


Yesterday the COSCO Guangzhou made her first visit to Hamburg. This harbor fan just had to go down to the river and take some pictures.

This is the worlds biggest container vessel for now. It is 350 meters (1,150 feet) long and can carry a maximum of 9,500 TEU, i.e. 20" long containers (TEU = Twenty foot Equivalent Units).

There are four more of this type on order and as ship-size always increases, 12,000 TEU ships are already planed. Bigger ships though would not fit through the Suez canal and, due to the wider deck, the loading time might increase too much.

Right now, shipping cost are high with about all available ships worldwide booked. Even though scrap iron prices are up, those nasty scrap-yards have free capacity. Any available rust-bucket (some scary pictures within those PDF-files) is kept afloat.

But worldwide some 2,000 new seagoing ships will be launched this year and with all the new tonnage coming afloat, shipping rates are expected to fall significantly. Stocks for shipping companies are already down.

So maybe those 12,000 TEU monsters will never be build and the COSCO Guangzhou and her sister-ships will be the largest box-carrier to see for some years.

I was wrong with that. The Ever Given now stuck in the Suez canal is 400 meters long and at 20,000 TEU can carry double the load of the COSCO Guangzhou. More of these Suez-Max ships are being build.

Such ships pay $700.000 to pass through the Suez canal. Smaller ones pay less. But the average is some $450,000 and at 50+ ships per day the losses for Egypt add up. The hundreds of ships which are currently blockaded and the owners of their cargoes may also ask for compensation.

The ship is insured for probably up to 140 million. That will not be enough to pay for this incident. Many court claims will be made. The Japanese owners of the ship, the Taiwanese charterer, the German company managing the ship, the pilots and the crew will all be asked to pay for every penny that is not covered by the insurance.

In future Egypt may demand mandatory tug escorts for the passage of such large ships. That would be expensive and put a limit on their cost effectiveness.

Posted by b on March 25, 2021 at 17:03 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b! i just wrote a post on this in the open thread...see below... not sure why tugs weren't used to support its passage here..

@ suez canal issue.. i find it fascinating myself.... a boat with the name 'evergreen' in big letters stuck in a narrow man made channel of sand.... if that is not a metaphor for today with the conflict of economy trumping environment in spite of all the worlds concern or lack of concern for climate change and etc. etc. - i don't know what is... it is like planet earth sending a message to the inhabitants, but i suspect no one is listening in the corridors of empire building, or endless subservience to the religion of consumerism as the case may be... it seems something more radical has to happen for anything to change here... people and especially those in positions of power - refuse to alter there course.. the planet is headed towards a sandbar of epic proportions... the water will probably be missing in all of it too... my rosy scenario for today!

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2021 17:04 utc | 151"

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2021 17:07 utc | 1

Hey Bernhard.. I guess you are not alone in feeling depressed, and lacking energy.
But that is part of the last year experience too.
In the next 1-3 months you, me and many others here in Germany will finally be able to get vaccination. And things will become better when the winter ends and spring lightens us up.
And maybe you need to bring this project to another level. You are not only a Barfly like over a decade ago, but an authority in the alt media in your very own right.
Maybe taking this project up a notch into a new and higher level could be just what you need! Maybe reposting select articles on select sites? A new and more polished format for the blog; Posting on Patreon/Substack,.. There are a thousand ideas..
No matter what: Going FORWARD is the only thing that can get you, me or anyone for that matter out of a low like you seem to feel. I speak from experience..
All the best.. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 25 2021 17:25 utc | 2

Quite symbolic.

World Trade stuck in the mud.

Gigantism undone by the laws of nature. Sandstorms and the pull of water pushing and pulling the Leviathan off course.

The arrogance and greed of modernity spanked again by Mother Nature.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 25 2021 17:26 utc | 3

So, while is oil down 4.3% today?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 25 2021 17:49 utc | 4

Ooops. I mean: why is oil down?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 25 2021 17:50 utc | 5

That Russian and China rail system Silk Road Plus is looking really good right about now.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 25 2021 18:01 utc | 6

If Edward Teller were running things the canal would be opened in about 5 minutes. One small tactical nuke ....

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Mar 25 2021 18:02 utc | 7

They might be whistling a different tune in Dixie after the Suez Canal gets blocked for weeks.

Here is a video of people celebrating the arrival of the
"Largest container ship ever to arrive on the East Coast sailed onto the Savannah River on May 11, 2017. The Cosco Development is the length of four football fields and nearly 160 feet wide."

[that was 2017, in 2020 an even larger ship came through]

When we vacationed in Savannah in 2019 they were talking about dredging the Savannah River to allow for even bigger ships.

I spotted our hotel room window in the youtube video. We had a front row view of the river and these cargo ships were constantly coming
through. The ships fill the hotel window and it is like watching a train go by and by and by and by. What would happen
if the port of Savannah were blocked for weeks? From Savannah trucks fan out via the highways carrying the containers all over the eastern US.
Imagine the distribution headaches.

"Hey, let's celebrate an even *bigger* container ship coming to our port!"

ps, don't visit Savannah on St Patrick's Day.
DO take the historical tour on the hop-on hop-off trolley.

pps, our hotel was a converted historic cotton warehouse(?). It was the Wall Street of Cotton in it's day. The price of cotton
world wide was set there. Don't miss Forrest Gump's park bench.

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 18:06 utc | 8

@8 addendum

This video gives a much better sense of the immensity of these container ships!
The video is taken from a helicopter and the ship appears to be going through a miniature replica village.

Posted by: librul | Mar 25 2021 18:26 utc | 9

And then there is this:

Is this just some kind of funny accident or someone's calling card?

Posted by: j. casey | Mar 25 2021 18:28 utc | 10

Companies aping the Outlaw US Empire's propaganda about China are being boycotted by Chinese en masse:

"Has Chinese society been suppressing H&M, Nike and some other multinational companies for their stance over Xinjiang cotton supply issues, as some Western media have claimed? If the Western society finds it hard to understand Chinese people's strong sentiments, then just imagine how the Western public would react if these companies make anti-Semitic remarks in the Western countries.

"As China and Western countries clash on the Xinjiang issue, public opinion is becoming harsher in many other countries as well. In Western public opinion, opposing China by stepping on its redline has almost become a form of political correctness. Facing such high pressure, H&M did not apologize in its clarification statement on Wednesday after Chinese netizens found the company said, as early as 2020, that it prohibited any type of 'forced labor' in its supply chain in Xinjiang, citing so-called human rights concerns, because it fears offending Western political correctness....

"H&M cannot really back off because Western public opinion has already regarded the company as a victim of China's so-called suppression, and it is already entrapped in the Western political correctness. During the West's demonization of Xinjiang, many unscrupulous scholars fabricated lies, and many politicians blindly opposed everything China did. And as a multinational company, H&M was under pressure to choose to offend the Chinese market. Western media has now depicted it into a victim of China's fierce crackdown. The Washington Post said the company 'has come under official attack' in China. The Wall Street Journal even said it is 'under assault'." [My Emphasis] (How can one be a scholar while lying? Doesn't the act of lying negate any claim to scholarship?)

I'd say that Western multinationals like Nike are now stuck in some very deep muck and face losing a huge share of China's market for quite awhile since Chinese aren't as forgetful as Western consumers:

"For China, this is actually a good chance for its local company to grab more market share. But for H&M and other companies, due to the Western public opinion's double standards and coercion, it is difficult to please both public sentiment in China and the West. They will have to pay for their own words and deeds."

On Chinese social media, behavior like H & M's gets noted by an audience greater than the US or EU populations--400+ Millions--and losing a market share that size will hopefully make idiot CEOs rethink their actions two or three times before doing something very inane. Consumer choice was once called marketplace democracy. That the West condemns such democratic action shouldn't surprise very many barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:55 utc | 11

Karlof1 @ 11:

As one commenter to the article you refer to says, since H&M have an office in China, the CEO could visit there and a trip to Xinjiang could be organised. If authorities in Xinjiang readily agree to company tours of cotton farms and factories, that in itself says something. Ditto for all other Western clothing manufacturers with offices and factories in China coming under pressure to denounce Xinjiang.

By the same token, why are cotton farms in other parts of the world (Egypt, parts of Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent perhaps and elsewhere where Western clothing companies have major investments) not coming under similar scrutiny for exploiting child labour?

Posted by: Jen | Mar 25 2021 19:21 utc | 12

Jen @12 Big companies have regular third-party audits done of their suppliers to help ensure they're not using child labor, that they've got proper fire exits and are complying with environmental and safety laws. This is SOP. There are trusted agencies that do this, as well as inspect product before it's shipped etc.

The fact that they're not simply doing this proves it's a politically motivated attack on China.

Posted by: bill baly | Mar 25 2021 19:53 utc | 13

@ 11 / 12 karlof1 and jen... interesting... i must not stay in touch with all the politically correct engineered projects happening, but i do agree with @ jen, or the reply to that thread basic position... get the ceo to go and do a study on it... i am not familiar with this company, but i see under the labour practices section on wikipedia that they are not above making a number of mistakes or worse in this area... looks like pc positioning to me here.. the chinese are smart to reply in the best way possible - by boycotting... meanwhile a load of clothes sits stranded for the time being in a container ship in the suez canal.. the global reach of the corporations is temporarily altered or postponed... this is just an opening act as i see it..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2021 19:53 utc | 14

Can't they just build a temporary rail on the shore and put a rocket sled on it attached by a chain to the boat and then fire up the rocket?

Or maybe something with magnets.

Posted by: Hippo Dave | Mar 25 2021 20:02 utc | 15

This is the kind of supply chain disruption that could cause economic breakdowns, IMO

It depends on how long it lasts. I can only conjecture that the boxes on top are lighter and a good size Huey copter should be able to offload enough to be able to move the ship....and deal with the offloaded ones later

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2021 20:12 utc | 16

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:55 utc | 11

Yeah, those companies have committed PR suicide.

It's one thing to be ASML or TSMC - those companies dominate a very strategic market and can stand up to China somewhat.

But it's another thing to do that when you're from a sector that China already dominates, in this case the textile and clothing sectors. China doesn't need Nike and H&M at all: it has national equivalents that could make up for the "losses" both in scale and quality almost instantly.

There's a reason Louis Vuitton immediately and desperately apologized to the CPC after one of its products/PR piece excluded the rebel province of Taiwan from the Chinese map.

Posted by: vk | Mar 25 2021 20:30 utc | 17

@Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 18:55 utc | 11:

A boycott is being hyped, that's for sure. Whether it would stick remains to be seen. I for one certainly hope it would; them overpriced vanities have had it too good in China, that's a fact.

Nike, Adidas, LV, Burberry, Chanel, Prada, et al. Making money in China, or amongst Chinese, has been too easy and too much. You may soon have to work for your profits and prove your worth. The venting of anger by China's ambassador to France maybe the harbinger of a huge decline in French luxury goods consumptions in China and/or amongst Chinese social circles worldwide. Spaniard/Italiano/Dutch/Swede/Deutsch/Brits vanity goods may not be far behind. It won't affect employments in EU/USA much, as the goods are produced in Asia anyway. But it sure would hurt someone's pocketbooks, the ones who hoover around the Deep State's court.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 25 2021 20:30 utc | 18

Hippo Dave #15
Ten thousand drones and a magnet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 25 2021 20:33 utc | 19

Can't they just build a temporary rail on the shore and put a rocket sled on it attached by a chain to the boat and then fire up the rocket?

Or maybe something with magnets.

Posted by: Hippo Dave | Mar 25 2021 20:02 utc | 15

As practical as just nuking the vessel -- there would be a big splash and a lot of cheap junk flying in all directions, then water would fill the hole and the traffic could resume. On the sober analysis, both methods should be rejected.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 25 2021 20:36 utc | 20

Certainly makes the Belt and Road more attractive. Hi Speed Railway all the way to Europe will solve many of these issues. On the flip side, a prospect of war with Iran who pretty much controls the gulf traffic and can easily stop the traffic in the Red Sea as well, is a non-starter for many of the Europeans, precisely for the possible ramifications of this article, no matter how hard Israel pushes.

In simple words, Iran has Europe and the wider world by the balls if they choose to squeeze.

Posted by: Alpi | Mar 25 2021 20:39 utc | 21

4 big dredgers at both sides in the both extremes of the ship working 2 days with 4 tugs and problem solved, of course an excavator onshore is ridiculous

Posted by: DFC | Mar 25 2021 20:40 utc | 22

Btw also Nord-Ostsee-Kanal is half blocked. One of the two sluices are destroyed by an accident with a ship that rammed the gate. Repair will take months. It is the third by capacity after Suez and Panama.

Posted by: rico rose | Mar 25 2021 20:41 utc | 23

A hydraulic mining outfit could blow all that sand away faster than that dredger.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 25 2021 20:43 utc | 24

Why aren't we discussing the larger implications of sea power and cargo routes? Isn't this situation (and the many other risks using sea lanes between Asian and Europe) precisely why China is undertaking the BRI? It is frankly astonishing that this little canal (and Panama, Bosporus, etc too I guess) isn't more clogged. But let's imagine the Suez is shut down for, say, a month. Isn't this the kind of thing that escalates knock-on risks worldwide? Experts here know better than I.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 25 2021 20:50 utc | 25

Hydraulic mining by itself might make things worse, depending upon how much the draft of the ship is. The moved soil has to go somewhere and under the keel of the ship might not be good.

A combination of hydraulic mining and hydraulic dredging (just pumping the slurry/muck onto the land and letting the water drain back into the canal), on the other hand, would free the ship pretty quickly. If the canal were unexpectedly deep at that point then the hydraulic mining by itself could get the job done in a day. I doubt the canal is that deep, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 25 2021 20:59 utc | 26

Thanks for the replies to mine @11. One article I didn't choose to link noted that cotton harvesting in Xinjiang is 95% mechanized. This important article deals with an NGO called Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and its role in this affair:

"Chinese citizens also noted that H&M had mentioned the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in its announcement, saying that the NGO has suspended licenses in Xinjiang, which means H&M will not acquire cotton from the region. What's the relationship between H&M and BCI? Why has the organization suspended licenses in China's Xinjiang? The Global Times has conducted an investigation into these questions."

And GT does excellent investigative reporting. A glimpse:

"On March 12, 2020, Zhang Biao, chief manager of a company named Zhongwang in Yuli county of the Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, received an email from the BCI.

"It said that given the 'current complicated international environment,' the BCI has decided to suspend the distribution of licenses or certificates from 2020 to 2021 in China's Xinjiang region. The organization will update its standards during the suspension period to better deal with the environment.

"This email confused Zhang, as his company has been one of those with which BCI had cooperated in Xinjiang for years, and the reasons for suspending the licenses for 'updating the standards' sounded disingenuous. Zhang's company joined BCI's program in 2015."

BCI is a Swiss registered NGO and wields enormous power within the cotton industry, but it clearly is manipulated:

"BCI was also found to have treated member enterprises with double standards, deliberately ignoring the labor problems in some countries and regions. India, for instance, has around 10 million child laborers, according to statistics from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, Indian media and nongovernmental organizations. Some of the children were forced to work 12 hours a day with little time to study, Times of India reported in August 2020.

"Nonetheless, the public has seldom seen the BCI calling for a 'boycott' against cotton products of its questionable Indian members. Instead, according to reports on its website, the BCI conducted 'research on the challenges the cotton producers faced' in places including India, observers found."

The article offers much more than what I excerpted. I was amazed to learn the level of fees it charges; it's indeed made a racket for itself that's likely similar to other NGOs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 21:04 utc | 27

Patroklos @ 24. sea power and cargo routes? What happened beginning in 1880s or so, is the sea power declined as Germany installed Railroads that connected Germany to just about everyone but France and England.

How many merchant ships are the world
who owns them, what do they cost per cubic foot to build and what is going freight rate. end to end transport begins at a loading dock and ends at a loading dock.. What is the average per mile cost of that.. in the current system and who would it compare to flying container drone.
what are there assigned routes and
who could goods be transported if transport by sea is eliminated or restricted?

Can aircraft carry the load?
Seems to me 200 mile per hour aircraft drones could effectively replace transport by sea. and at the same time
eliminate much of the political problems by sea transport causes. Put wings, tails, ballast for lift, and wind up rubber band engines on the containers this could eliminate a lot of trucks as the drone escorted container could deliver across water, land mass, and distribute the cargo directly to target cities.

Posted by: snake | Mar 25 2021 21:25 utc | 28

Thanks b.
The funny thing about this mishap is that everyone has had time to forget that in the Good Old Days wind was the only power source for ships. My childhood encyclopedia had a wonderful painting of the tea-clipper Cutty Sark smashing through the waves at top speed.

One of the still pics on the TV news showed wind-streaks on the water of the canal. They're multiple thin, narrow tendrils of flat foam indicating the general direction of the wind. My recollection is that the wind has to be a steady 30 knots+ to create them. To a sailing boat sailor that's PLENTY of available wind-power. And the EVERGREEN has much more 'sail' area than any sailing ship, real or imagined.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 25 2021 21:28 utc | 29

Maybe this will cheer you a bit, b: I was in New Zealand last in 1992, living alongside Otago Harbour when the QE2 - no not nasty financial skulduggery - hove in on the first of two visits she made to New Zealand before her demise. My house was just across the road from the harbour, which at its deepest point was only 3 feet deep, more of an estuary than an actual harbour. But in its early days it was THE harbour for New Zealand and Port Chalmers had a narrow channel periodically dredged out for the big ships to enter. Well, she came in at low tide, so I could go right out on the eel grass flats and be right alongside, very exciting it was too.

I couldn't find a photo of the scene, and unfortunately didn't take any myself, just me standing out on the harbourflats as excited as heck as the great ship passed me by, memorable sight. I did find one reference, an old codger's reminiscence, at the Otago Daily Times - that speaks to that time when ocean liners were ocean liners, back in the day:

Mr Wright has recorded the details of every ship that has visited Otago Harbour since the end of the war.

His favourite was QE2.

"She was the iconic Cunard. Of all the ships I've photographed - I've photographed about 3600-odd ships here - she would be the one that stands out."

Mr Wright posed, reluctantly, for the Otago Daily Times next to the Star Princess, unimpressed by its stern and the exhaust "plumbing" that stands where a funnel should.

Mr Wright said he "mourned" the passing of the old ships - replaced by the car carriers, "terrible looking things", the cruise ships, "there's nothing beautiful about them really" and, of course, the featureless container ships.

He doesn't mention what I remember happened after the liner docked, which was that the Southerly came up, the fearsome Antarctic wind, and blew so fiercely that two tugs had to be employed constantly against the stern of the ship while she was docked so she wouldn't break free of her hawser lines and beach herself over on my shore. Fortunately this time it only lasted a night, unlike the previous November when it blew the whole month long.

The Southerly was why I left Dunedin. I'd still be there otherwise.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 25 2021 21:31 utc | 30

Patroklos @24--

Yes, ship size has vastly increased making what were once commerce freeing passageways into commerce choke points. One of the reasons why the Outlaw US Empire keeps destabilizing Nicaragua is to keep it from constructing an alternative to the Panama Canal primarily because of the Empire's doctrine of having total control over everything. Why was the Iranian-Caspian Canal project even contemplated? To provide commercial links to several landlocked nations who would greatly benefit from it as well as Russia as ships could transit the Volga. Why ships, not trains? Some bulk cargoes are much cheaper to ship via ship than train, wood chips and bulk logs for example since they're major exports from where I reside. Speed is also an issue depending on the product, so shorter routes are always being looked for. Overland transit is essentially a Natural Monopoly whereas oceanic shipping allows for genuine competition except at choke points and was very true during the Age of Sail.

And what's related to being stuck in the sand is this bit about the New Suez Canal, although it appears that the ship is stuck in the single channel portion shown by this sat image. Clearly, the project needs two channels over the entire distance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 21:39 utc | 31

That looks like something which may have a technological solution.
car-like stability control mechanism so rear and bow thrusters would correct course automatically. In the canal you don't want to put it in 'sport' mode either. Couple it to GPS so it acts like 'lane assist'.

Improve further by adding simulation of forces based on the map and weather for faster (anticipating)response. So you can avoid the situations better where you won't be able to save it.

What, they're allowed to cross the canal with the nannies disabled?

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 25 2021 21:44 utc | 32

The article offers much more than what I excerpted. I was amazed to learn the level of fees it charges; it's indeed made a racket for itself that's likely similar to other NGOs.
Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2021 21:04 utc | 26

For most NGO's the "N" is silent, like the "P" in ptarmigan and honestly should be replaced with "MF" for malignant foreign.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 25 2021 21:54 utc | 33

The Suez Canal was closed between 1967 and 1975.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2021 21:56 utc | 34

A brand new ship (a few years old) losing power?

Suez Canal blocked by stranded Evergreen boxship

An Egyptian official who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that efforts to remove the ship would take at least two days and blamed a strong 50 km/h gust of wind for the accident.

Multiple reports cite local agents saying the ship lost power before veering starboard, with its bulbous bow becoming lodged into the bank of the canal. Diggers are currently trying to dig around the bow, while Egypt has mustered every available tug to shift the giant 399 m long vessel.

Shipping agency GAC reported the ship, owned by Shoei Kisen and on charter to Evergreen, suffered a black out while transiting in a northerly direction at 07.40 hours local time yesterday.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 25 2021 22:01 utc | 35

Just asking Obama and his Wall Street pals if this is also to big to fail?

Posted by: The Bodger | Mar 25 2021 22:11 utc | 36

Oddly enough, with the situation still unresolved, Wikipedia is already very succinctly stating the cause as "Sandstorm, high winds".

What with COVID nearly beaten, and the timing of this mishap, maybe a simulation is in order -- what would it mean to global economic trade and development if the Suez Canal was blocked for 60 days.

Just a simulation boys and girls, I don't deal in conspiracy theories ;-)

Posted by: bjd | Mar 25 2021 23:41 utc | 37

Posted by: bjd | Mar 25 2021 23:41 utc | 36

The ship wedgie does seem to have a potential to become a Black Swan event for the already disoriented global supply chain network. They are already having issues with containers.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 26 2021 0:05 utc | 38

Almost on topic...

DoD/US Navy is producing a report to be released to the public on the subject of whatever they know about UFOs. Congress has written into law a requirement for this report to be released this summer.

I'm not convinced that The Almighty would put Intelligent Life within 100 light years of what passes for Civilization on Earth. Pat Lang has a Sneak Preview of the sort of tosh the DOD is likely to 'release' (cough, cough). It's a triangle shaped aircrafty looking thing sitting on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Each side of the triangle is circa 50-60 feet. So it's big. Forgetting about any insinuated properties the craft might possess its most impressive feature as a static display is that, unlike every other object on the deck, large or small, this gizmo isn't casting a dark high-definition shadow; in bright sunlight.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 26 2021 0:13 utc | 39

And the northern sea route

Posted by: Nick | Mar 26 2021 0:17 utc | 40

DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 25 2021 17:25 utc | 2

Hello, Do you konw 02/?
Do you Konw the US Government VAERS at
Please visit them before taking the jab.

Posted by: Roberto | Mar 26 2021 0:41 utc | 41

"Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and its staff have decades of experience of recovering grounded vessels in the canal, as ships striking the bank is not uncommon. What sets the Ever Given incident apart is the vessel's weight and the forces involved in the grounding which dug it so deep into the canal wall.
Responding to claims that large container vessels with high stacks pose an increased risk of grounding, Naggar said Ever Given was nothing new in terms of size and windage for the canal. “We’ve had the largest container ships with 24,000 teu completely chock-full transiting the canal in high winds and nothing happened. For this particular ship it must have been a technical error.”

Clearing the backlog of vessels waiting to transit the Suez Canal would take a couple of days if the blockage was cleared today, said Naggar. The SCA has emergency plans in place for clearing backlogs and will make full use of its 100 transit per day capacity.

“At the moment we have 149 ships stuck at both ends of the canal. That is one-and-a-half days’ work, assuming that it is clear today.”

end quote.
more at the article in link given.

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 26 2021 0:58 utc | 42

These ships burn Bunked fuel, the dredges of the oil drum, the dirtiest, most toxic spew possible at a rate of 63,000 gallons per day.

10,000 people die every day just from breathing polluted air, millions more get terminally ill.

Posted by: jef | Mar 26 2021 1:09 utc | 43

@ Fíréan | Mar 26 2021 0:58 utc | 41... thanks for the link... it is very informative... they are concerned about the integrity of the hull... i thought this quote was particularly concerning...

"“You can never tell what kind of stress distribution there is on the hull when you have a grounding,” said Naggar. This is the reason so many tugs are involved in the recovery effort, said Naggar, to avoid concentrating stresses from recovery efforts on one part of the hull and potentially causing it to fail. He gave the grounding and subsequent splitting of the MOL Wakashio as an example of the dangers grounding poses to a ship’s integrity."

picture of the aftermath of MOL Wakashio hull breaking..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 1:25 utc | 44

To james | Mar 26 2021 1:25 utc | 42

There appears not to be a picture at the link which you gave. (?)

" No file by this name exists."

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 26 2021 1:45 utc | 45

The so-called 'Internet' is suddenly becoming the 'Filternet'. Just like Network TV.

The Truth really is out there, but not available to the average 'citizen'.

Posted by: blues | Mar 26 2021 2:11 utc | 46

Can aircraft carry the load?

Posted by: snake | Mar 25 2021 21:25 utc | 27

The whole premise of oversized ships is to reduce unit cost per container. Otherwise shippers would be using smaller ships. Quite obviously, aircraft would have vastly larger unit cost.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26 2021 2:12 utc | 47

@43 Fíréan

remove the slash on the end of the URL and it works

Ouch. That's one broken ship.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 26 2021 2:13 utc | 48

Any connection between this Evergreen shipping company and the proprietary airline of the same name?

Posted by: DougDiggler | Mar 26 2021 2:14 utc | 49

All that's needed is for Muad'dib, of the Southern Arabian Peninsula, to bring forth his fremmen worthies .. via sandworm of course!, and open up those containers one by one, extracting the spice for 'resale' BACK to the unwitting Saudi harkonnens ... then hightail it back to their Yemen crèches!

Posted by: polecat | Mar 26 2021 2:38 utc | 50

Grieved | Mar 26 2021 2:13 utc | 46

Thank you. Now i got it.

@ james.
That website for which i posted the URL is great , if not the best, for container shipping news and info.
( not old hippie reefers, ha ha.)

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 26 2021 2:41 utc | 51

I should have trained in maritime law. This will be a gold mine for the lawyers.

Posted by: RoHa | Mar 26 2021 3:06 utc | 52

@DougDiggler #47

Yes, it's the same Taiwan-based conglomerate that runs Evergreen Airlines. I've only taken them on one round trip, very nice airline even by high Asian standards.

Posted by: bill baly | Mar 26 2021 3:12 utc | 53

Anyone know the crew size to handle a vessel this big?

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 26 2021 3:31 utc | 54

vetinLA | Mar 26 2021 3:31 utc | 52:

MV Ever Given crew size was 25 at the time of running aground. There were rumors of the skipper being female but I believe that was more of a joke.

Source: Suez Canal Blockage: MV Ever Given’s 25-Member Crew, Who Are All Indian Nationals, Safe

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 26 2021 4:18 utc | 55

@ grieved.. thanks for noticing i had an extra slash mark in my link... not sure why that happened... thanks for catching that!

@ Fíréan... yes, that website you linked to on shipping is really great... thanks for sharing that!

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 5:15 utc | 56

What are the chance that it's an act of sabotage coordinated by US-Taiwan?

Posted by: tenpai | Mar 26 2021 5:25 utc | 57

Can aircraft carry the load?

Posted by: snake | Mar 25 2021 21:25 utc | 27

The whole premise of oversized ships is to reduce unit cost per container. Otherwise shippers would be using smaller ships. Quite obviously, aircraft would have vastly larger unit cost.

by: Piotr Berman @45 snake again.. thanks but I have done a simple calculation.. wing span produces lift..
speed is not important just list.. 20,000 TEU means 20,000 containers sortof..

If you packed the containers into a lengthwise fusel lodge ( so they are the center of gravity) and sufficient double or even triple stack 70' ft triple decker wings on each side of the contraption the pay load might be many tons.. d/n know about runway lengths. but at maybe 110 mph..could lift quite a number of tons.
10 containers 120'by 20' wide in tandem down the center line of the x length and y center line of the wing, with landing gear high enough for a truck or RR car to go beneath during load/unload operations.. assume the average transport distance to be 800 miles/container.. and the fuel/cost/container hr were say 10 gals/hr/container; @ 8 /hr/container @ say $4 per gal = $320/container. $400/container/800 miles is about $.5 per mile <=how does that compare to merchant shipping cost? what is the min and max container weight in an average container ship load ? insurance would be cheap, and one drone pilot could drive many of the contraptions; considerable truck and RR miles might be eliminated, and just in time inventories might just be quicker. Issures with port labor, customs regulations and even the cost of the port.. $700,000/9,500 containers means canal cost container is at least $75 per container. and more if fewer containers are on board, which c/b saved when by air.

Posted by: snake | Mar 26 2021 8:27 utc | 58

karlof1 #26

Thank you for the BCI link. It seems pretty clear from that reading at Global Times that the USAi is out to destroy a sustainable cotton farming standard and that BCI fell for the trap or the bribe as it may be. The USAi will be very concerned should BCI be looking to downgrade nations that advocate high levels of pesticides and downsteram aquatic destruction in the cultivation and processing practices. This is a negligence that the USAi is well known for. The USAi has every cause to sow mayhem here as it suits their local agriculture agenda as well as their 'hate China' BS.

BCI is a company that establishes global standard for best practice in cotton cultivation, harvest and processing. It has just screwed its credibility entirely by attempting to sabotage China with no good reason or fair process. It has simply made a unilateral de-listing and withdrawal of collaboration. UNILATERAL! now, who else is in that business?

This subject warrants a separate discussion in order to give it justice. Barflies should read this item. Here are a few extracts:

As an international NGO, which was registered in Geneva, Switzerland, with its head offices in Geneva and London, BCI's licenses have special significance for Chinese companies. According to an introduction from its website, BCI is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world.

At the end of 2019, BCI had more than 1,840 members, spanning the entire global cotton supply chain from farmer organizations to retailers and brands. In 2019, BCI Retailer and Brand Members sourced more than 1.5 million metric tons of Better Cotton, including brands such as H&M, Adidas, and Nike...

Li Chengjun, head of the Taichang Agricultural Company, still remembers their signing of agreements with BCI in 2013. "We are large farms and wanted to learn advanced agricultural technologies, for example on how to reduce costs while increasing yields. When they talked about 'decent work' at that time, I was confused by the phrase. Finally, I figured it out - the rules are no different from what we already have in our Labor Law."

Li thought the BCI's principles were good, and some terms it used were different from what they had already used and practiced.

"After signing the agreement, BCI conducts a review every two years and we are also asked to conduct a self-assessment. No problem has been found these past years," Li told the Global Times.

The sudden suspension of cooperation has hurt the image of Xinjiang cotton, Zhang said, noting that "compared with other cotton plant areas, Xinjiang cotton is competitive in spinnability, especially after the widespread mechanization. Overseas cotton is low-priced since they have larger plant areas."

Why did BCI cut cooperation with Xinjiang cotton companies? Zhang said he cannot understand the decision, as the move would hurt the entire industrial chain, including BCI itself.

"BCI's main income is from membership fees. One production unit must pay 700 euros and the threshold fee for a cotton agency is 3,500 euros. Retailer members must pay fees in accordance with the amount of cotton they use - usually around 600,000 to 1 million euros," Zhang said, noting that this makes the retailers the BCI's main source of revenue.

Zhang said that the BCI office in China did not want to give up its business in China's Xinjiang region, but is facing too much pressure from its headquarters.

"Currently, BCI's activities in Xinjiang have been suspended, which means it has lost nearly 90 percent of its business in China - it is cutting off its own limbs," an insider who requested anonymity told the Global Times.

I can smell a rat and so can China. Geneva and London have rats.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 26 2021 9:00 utc | 59

A little more on the BCI cotton caper in China.

It has a twin partner named Cotton Connect:

"How we can help"

We are an enterprise that helps global brands source more fairly and sustainably by creating more robust, resilient and successful cotton and raw material supply chains.

With headquarters in London, and on-the-ground teams across the world, we help to improve the sustainability of global textile supply chains, thereby enabling producers and raw material farmers to work more responsibly and enjoy better livelihoods.

Our work helps brands to access more sustainable cotton and other natural fibres, creating a more transparent and resilient supply chain that will continue to deliver the best cotton, now and in the future."

I have asked them for a comment on the Global Times story and their partner BCI actions in China. I have also invited BCI to respond to me on this. Interesting websites and terribly good intentions etc.

Cotton Connect has a phone line but BCI is unlisted due to ... coronavirus! handy thing that virus.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 26 2021 9:59 utc | 60

@snake, regarding shipping containers, it sounds like a job for a blimp to me. Just don't use hydrogen for lift.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 26 2021 10:22 utc | 61

Looks like it could take a while... stuck

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 26 2021 10:31 utc | 62

Suez Canal to be stuck

And it’s going to stay that way
In 2006, the"Rokia" experiment a shipgrouding in french Île de Ré.

Here is a small technical of challenges.

Could even Evergreen suffer the consequences ?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 10:34 utc | 63

Maybe the only thing that could dislodge it would be another ship of the same mass.

Posted by: Shyaku | Mar 26 2021 10:55 utc | 64

This is in no way my fault. I take no responsibility for this. This is plainly the fault of some other person. I had nothing whatever to do with it.

Posted by: blues | Mar 26 2021 11:17 utc | 65

We could drag around giant balloons filled with ammonia. Job done. No problem.

Posted by: blues | Mar 26 2021 11:29 utc | 66


Ship is not anymore in properly horizontal position and more than 10.000 containers are pilled up, 7 layers on the deck but the heaviest ones are in the hold of the ship. Probably several thousand.

The more time passes, the worse the silting gets. Marine cranes and an offloading fleet are needed.
Are there any available in sufficient quantity/quality nearby?

And it's a long way to Hamburg. Or Tipperary.

Once again, Moscow can save the free World ?

Just ask Vladimir and the two Sergueï for some Mil Mi-26.

Regardez "Mil Mi-26 Halo - Russian Heavy Transport Helicopter" sur YouTube

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 11:34 utc | 67

Bill Baly @ 13: Thanks for your reply. Further comments from Karlof1 and Uncle Tungsten about the cotton industry in Xinjiang confirm the politically motivated nature of attacks by the US and its allies on China by targeting what they perceive to be China's most vulnerable points, their assumptions based on projecting their own weaknesses onto China.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 26 2021 11:59 utc | 68

Ian2 @ 53; Thanks for the info:)

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 26 2021 12:18 utc | 69

click on pic. when open to enlarge further.

large picture of tug boat and cable to one end of container ship Ever Green

Link to article and more pics of similar size and quality

The Dutch and Japanese experts are on their way.

Posted by: Fíréan | Mar 26 2021 12:24 utc | 70

Re: cotton

America: "All you have for making shirts is the factories, fields, and workforce! We have the brands, logos, and labels! Without us you can't sell a thing!"

China: "We can still make shirts. Anyone want to buy a shirt without the corporate logo? They will be cheaper because we don't have to pay licensing fees for the label."

The world: "Sign me up."

Americans are right in the belly of the capitalist beast and they don't even understand how the system they murder millions of innocent people around the world for works. What boundless stupidity. They are so delusional and damaged by marketing that they imagine the logo printed on the shirt is more important than the shirt itself. Ignorant fools...

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 26 2021 12:30 utc | 71

Russia,Russia, Russia

@tenpai | Mar 26 2021 5:25 utc | 55
Yes, a Taiwanese company blocking trade between continental communist China and free atlantic Europe! Just in time with Blinken visit to EU/Nato....
Shipgrouding or stranding, that’s the question ? Plot or Murphy's law:"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong"

Unfortunately, as wrote @jo6pac | Mar 25 2021 18:01 utc | 6, this can only strengthen the Trans-Siberian Silk Road project.

How long before Brennan updates the Russian plot?

Must read from March 22, 2021
James Howard Kunstler

"the strange byproduct of the political establishment fumbling to cover up its crimes, an endeavor so transparently inept that the rest of the world goggles at us in nauseated incredulity"

Could be from "Drucker's Law" in dealing with complexity of management: "If one thing goes wrong, everything else will, and at the same time."

Let's pray. Or have anymore Drink.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 12:30 utc | 72

snake, air shipping vs sea shipping cost

seems that your air cost per container estimate for air for 800 miles is close to sea cost estimate for 9000 miles. However, there is a lot of guesswork in both.

Intercontinental logistic has immense complexities. Why cargo is delivered to Rotterdam and not to Trieste or south France? Because of the immense facilities at Rotterdam and their connection to transport by train, barge and truck -- or even to smaller ships. Going for air transport would require a huge number of cargo airports connected to transportation networks. Billion dollars here and there, it adds up.

Then you need plain design that somehow does not exist -- big slow planes, size of Boeing 747 and the speed of Cessna. Maybe they should exist, but somehow they do not.

Actually, I was a bit surprised, because as a drinker of mate tea, the last time I decided to use Amazon instead of my usual GoYerbaMate, and surprise: 3 kg was shipped by air from Buenos Aires, economically enough to beat GYM price. From other anecdotes, there is a lot of air shipping. Yet, super-economical planes do not exist, and the idea to use huge drones would have hard time to pass through various difficulties -- what wants to live under such air route?

But it is at least 10 times more expensive than sea routes. In my case, a dollar per kg is still a bargain, but the production and trade in cheap goods is filled with penny pinching and achieve amazing reduction of cost. Yesterday I had to buy a teapot from China for $8. These goods get shoddier from year to year! (Why I had to buy another, and now to reject a prettier one as its handle did not bent, and after a non-athletic attempt, fell off).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26 2021 12:35 utc | 73

Dear William Gruff
[ | Mar 26 2021 12:30 utc | 69]

Not about T-Shirt and logo, it's about advertising, mind control, bigTech... and now printing helicopter money.

Yesterday some peoples were talking about freedom.... Do I even NEED a new t-shirt ?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 12:40 utc | 74

An Israeli Suez Canal

A bit prophetic?

Posted by: j. casey | Mar 26 2021 12:40 utc | 75

well, that was really a huge bulbous. much like a huge penis buried deep and not too easy to dislodge. boy! the operator must have really a hard time.

Posted by: andreweed | Mar 26 2021 13:03 utc | 76

j. casey@73

I wouldn't start digging. See those wierd things on the map that look like misscolorations? In the real world they are mountains...

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 26 2021 13:14 utc | 77

I think this will take 3 months to sort out. Both the stern and bow are stuck. The momentum of the ship will have ensured that the bow is very well stuck. While the maximum depth of the canal is fine, the sides are 1:4 to 1:3 sandy slopes underwater. The bow seems to have been pushed UP by around 2 metres (digger photograph). The stern rudder and propellor(s?) may well be stuck in the sloping canal sides too. Negotiation, contract, mobilisation (getting equipment on site), on site preparation, etc. Arrangements to offload and trans-ship some containers will require similar gymnastics. And tall floating cranes to remove containers onto barges or other smaller ships. Dredging - an awful lot of that would be required in order to refloat the vessel. Lloyds of London are probably trembling at the costs of the claims arising.

Posted by: Kaiama | Mar 26 2021 13:28 utc | 78


That's a very good question! Here's a tentative answer.

A black out on a ship less than tree years old is highly unlikely. However, was one to occur, it can't be steered. Or stopped. It has no mecanical controls.
If you have the wind from one side, as you mostly do, it will start swaying. And end up like the picture is showing, sooner rather than later.

Who will be hurt economically here? Europe, Egypt, Taiwan, Japan... (US, US, US, US)

Who would benefit from sending a polite but clear warning to "the international community": don't f**k whit our boats or our territory?

I'd say chanses are good thers a spotynosed cybercommand high on Jolt Cola (or very strong tea) laughing their asses of in Teheran.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 26 2021 13:29 utc | 79

Russia, Russia, Russia II

Russia Pushes Northern Sea Route As "Alternative" To Suez Canal

Thanks to Nick | Mar 26 2021 0:17 utc | 39

Raw with Rosatom links

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 13:45 utc | 80

That's an "oops".

Will probably have to invade Iraq to fix this.


They may have to unload the ship IMO. The buoyancy should then lift it out of the mud, at least loosen it. Then pulling with many tugboats along length of canal, in both directions at both ends to create the reverse rotation, will hopefully work.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 26 2021 13:48 utc | 81

Re #78

"Russia Pushes Northern Sea Route As "Alternative" To Suez Canal"

Also we have US Army Identifies Arctic as Battleground With Russia and China

Control of sea routes seems very important.

Posted by: bill baly | Mar 26 2021 14:11 utc | 82

Concerning Northern Sea Route, it can serve a limited number of convoys per year, and probably sending cheap oversized ships there will not be advised for at least a decade. Russia plans to expand the capacity significantly by 2030, perhaps including winter shipping. But even with global warming, that may require ships that can bang ice chunks etc. with no problems, probably smaller and sturdier.

The route has strategic importance in terms of providing economic activity in Arctic and saving it from depopulation, and even 5-10% of Pacific-Atlantic traffic would have big impact. May be even 3% could be huge. Tiksi could increase its population from 5000 back to 15000, but it is hard to imagine an Arctic equivalent for Singapore -- even with ample land for development etc.

About US Army predicting a "battleground", this is pure air, not even hot air.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26 2021 14:38 utc | 83

@Piotr Berman

Tweeter message are from Rosatom.

Rosatom: nuclear engines of Russia icebreakers.

Rosatom ± climate change = 365/7x7 Open Artic Road

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 14:51 utc | 84

New Israeli Canal?

Nevers too big to fail!

Alex Wellerstein (@wellerstein) a tweeté : Modest proposal for fixing the Suez Canal situation

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 26 2021 14:55 utc | 85

That would solve the mountain issue.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 26 2021 15:02 utc | 86

arctic route is relevant as alternative shipping to East Asia from both Russia (LNG) and EU (other goods). Helps ease concerns of possible interruption to shipping to East Asia, due geopolitical pissing contests.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 26 2021 15:04 utc | 87


Yes - I need change the blog in some way - but don't know how yet and lacking a bit of drive.

@Dan Lynch "If Edward Teller were running things the canal would be opened in about 5 minutes. One small tactical nuke ..."

There actually was a plan in the 1960s to build a parallel canal through Israel using some 150 nukes. -
THREAD (designed for Cold War Middle East history geeks)


Posted by: b | Mar 26 2021 15:10 utc | 88

It is strange...
Nobody has yet said 'RUSSIANS DID IT!!!!'

(Mode SARC ON, obviously)

Posted by: Mauro | Mar 26 2021 15:12 utc | 89

You know, I was thinking, maybe we should think about dredging the canal out to two lanes all the way, just to prevent this sort of thing.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 26 2021 15:13 utc | 90

@ 82 & 83

LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie traveled from Yamal to China in January, made the return trip in February. Accounts differ as to how much icebreaker assistance was required. In any case the CdM is a large ship by any measure. Maximum observed ice thickness was 1.5 meters, which CdM could theoretically do without an escort icebreaker. Typical ice observed was under one meter. Observed ice thickness was substantially less than what any of the current models imagine. Not talking about future prediction models, models for what is supposed to be there now. Cryosat, CSMOS, AMSR, HYCOM all would have said the CdM voyage was inadvisable and would have needed very substantial ice breaking.

To give you some idea how much of a change this is when US attempted to send a nuclear sub to the pole via Bering Strait back in 1959 the attempt had to be abandoned because the hull was scraping sea bottom while the mast was hitting the bottom of the ice. This would be at the sill of the Bering. And it was early September when ice was at minimum. Now just open water in winter.

No one is paying any attention to another side of this. As the Arctic opens there will be more and bigger storms. To include more and bigger storms at lower latitudes. No one has any notion what weather we shall have. It is all an experiment just now. An experiment to be run just once.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 26 2021 15:18 utc | 91

No one is paying any attention to another side of this. As the Arctic opens there will be more and bigger storms. To include more and bigger storms at lower latitudes. No one has any notion what weather we shall have. It is all an experiment just now. An experiment to be run just once.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 26 2021 15:18 utc | 90

When you pump more energy into the atmosphere (heat), it gets more active. Hmmm. But I agree, nobody knows, it will get more chaotic is what it will do.

And we like to build on flood plains and coastal areas. You can almost guarantee they are going to get clobbered more frequently. It will be just like before, but more of it. This is an excellent time to think about living in places that are protected from bad weather, floods, earthquakes, etc.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 26 2021 15:30 utc | 92

Bemildred @ 91

There is no safe place. Where I live, Chicago, tornadoes essentially do not occur and do not get near lake. So last summer on a street where I once lived, last place for cheap bohemian living on lakefront, the tornado comes through and ripped all the trees. Also, hail is very rare and never large. In a separate storm the hail broke the windshield of my car, did more body damage than made any sense to pay for, roofers have had a field day repairing roofs. The antique slate and tile roofs that were safe around here, bye bye.

New South Wales has been having disastrous drought and fire season for some years. They just had a disastrous flood.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Mar 26 2021 16:04 utc | 93

As well as the water being open, the accessibility by road of the Arctic from the south is actually decreasing because ice roads are only available more and more briefly. As well as in the West, there are ice roads linking China and Russia, and within Russia of course. This will be a problem for inland settlements and extractive industry installations.

Posted by: bill baly | Mar 26 2021 16:05 utc | 94

Thanks for all the follow up discussion about the cotton issue and the very compromised NGO.

As for the Northern Sea Route and the Arctic generally, the Outlaw US Empire has only one icebreaker, and it's at the end of its service life. Plus, it has absolutely zero infrastructure to support any sort of Arctic operations--not even properly drilling for hydrocarbons as the last attempt showed beyond doubt. So, the bombast it spouts about the Arctic and Russia is just that--bombast. Russia in contrast has an ever expanding fleet of nuclear and conventional powered icebreakers. This Utube channel has a number of videos detailing Russia's icebreakers, and they are truly some of the most powerful vessels ever constructed and are named the Leader Class, for what will be obvious reasons when viewing the videos. Also, I reported last year that Russia had engaged a South Korean shipbuilder to construct LNG carriers capable of breaking ice to ply the Northern Sea Route; here's a video of an earlier prototype on its test voyage through the ice taken in 2018. As you're now aware, Russia has given considerable thought to its arctic endeavors including revamping a number of Soviet era bases on the numerous islands to re-establish vital regional infrastructure. Furthermore, once the issue of the Lomsomov Ridge gets resolved in Russia's favor given the geology, it's commercial zone will become even greater. And quite frankly, there's no way the Outlaw US Empire/NATO can catch up.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2021 17:24 utc | 95

why the news are saying "trying to refloat" when obviously it is floating?

Posted by: archimedes | Mar 26 2021 17:31 utc | 96

@ mundanomaniac | Mar 26 2021 13:45 utc | 81... thanks! i did a post on it here..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2021 17:38 utc | 97

archimedes @97--

If the ship were afloat, it wouldn't be mired/stranded on a shoal and would be free to maneuver. That's the reason for that verbiage.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2021 17:39 utc | 98

Harris Kupperman talked about cargo ships, too. Starting more than 2 years ago - he noted that the switchover from dirty bunker oil consumption to cleaner types would impact transport ship supply.
COVID only made this worse - as enormous amounts of oil were stored on tankers which previously were on the low end of actual oil transport (old tankers were already used for storage).
The changes in flows also were a factor - effects of lockdowns changed consumption patterns in the US and EU considerably, for example.
The net net was that at peak, the tanker rentals were something like $250K/day - if I remember correctly - which made it enormously profitable for all tanker owners.
I wouldn't be surprised if the COVID related disruptions are impacting the TEU side as well. The company my wife works for has been having severe problems with shipping products - both from Japan and from UK to EU.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 26 2021 17:40 utc | 99

"They may have to unload the ship IMO. The buoyancy should then lift it out of the mud, at least loosen it. Then pulling with many tugboats along length of canal, in both directions at both ends to create the reverse rotation, will hopefully work."

might as well bring in the giant bulldozers 10 to 20 of them configured in series/parallel and tow both ends as you described. pulling power could be more than the tugs.

Posted by: catermatsu | Mar 26 2021 17:41 utc | 100

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