The world shipping economy is generally treated as a window into the health of the global economy.
Ships are the lifeline and bloodlines of the economy. They carry the fuel and goods and produce that makes the world prosper.
One of the companies that thrived during Covid was Zara. They are out of Spain but many of their garment factories are in Turkey. Panama hats, the toquila straw that makes them, they come from Ecuador. They were shipped from Panama back in the day. Not straw from Ecuador has left the dock since Covid. So a local hat maker I spoke to today sourced his materials elsewhere. He did fine. So did Zara.
Yet, when supply chains become highly distant and complex there are more points of potential conflict.
Now, Saudi Arabia is buying up agricultural land in Nigeria and other African countries, as its agricultural policy has been woefully myopic. Water wells have been depleted and they have the most and the most advanced desalination plants on the planet.
But that’s like being a rich man on a ventilator. You can be rich and healthy too.
One needs to revisit the management decisions that made the poor model of enterprise; that’s key to effective application of the understanding of ecology.