August 10, 2021

For decades, many American companies have relied on facilities in Southeast Asia to manufacture products that are then shipped over for dometic sale. Along with reducing production costs, firms also saved on inventory space through “just-in-time” ordering that allowed them to quickly bring in materials from overseas when necessary. But while relying on long-distance industrial suppliers has always been risky, the worst case scenario for this approach became a reality during the pandemic.

The global economy nearly shut down for Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 6, 2021

Our complex, world-spanning system of global trade relies enormously on shipping containers, metal boxes that range from 20 to 40 feet long that transport nearly every product imaginable. But just like so many of the items that are usually packed into these receptacles, the pandemic has caused a shortage of shipping containers that is reverberating across global supply chains. Despite an upsurge in production of containers and rebounding consumer demand, many manufacturers are unable to prepare products for transportation due Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 27, 2021

Last year, the onset of the pandemic devastated air travel as lockdown orders kept planes on the ground all over the world. After numerous airlines nearly collapsed as a result, the federal government provided the industry with three bailouts amounting to tens of billions of dollars in relief. This allowed airlines to keep many of their employees on the payroll while they waited to see if travel would recover. And now with ticket sales on the rise once again, analysts Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 22, 2021

Earlier this week, we looked at how pandemic lockdowns led to increased consumer demand as well as supply chain problems that are delaying deliveries around the world. Large-scale disruptions such as the Suez Canal blockage and the traffic jam at the Port of Los Angeles have resulted in wide-ranging financial damage to all sorts of small operators who cannot get their hands on vital merchandise. For instance, one restaurant in Oklahoma must pay $200 for a case of gloves that Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 20, 2021

On any given day since mid-2020, the Port of Los Angeles has had as many as 30 container ships anchored outside and waiting to eventually dock. This video looks at how the pandemic inspired a boom in online purchases while also causing a shortage of shipping workers, leading to the transportation crisis currently taking place at ports across the world. 

Questions:

  1. How did the pandemic lead to supply chain problems that caused traffic jams at major ports around the Continue reading
Continue reading...

March 30, 2021

Last week, one of the world’s most important commercial waterways shut down as a 200,000-ton vessel became lodged in the Suez Canal. After the enormous ship could not be removed immediately, experts started to worry that Ever Given would remain stuck for weeks and wreak billions of dollars in economic havoc. Then yesterday, the container ship was finally dislodged from the canal with the help of high-powered tugboats and an unusually high tide brought on by a full moon.

Now Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 25, 2021

On an average day, at least 10 percent of global trade passes through Egypt’s Suez Canal aboard more than 50 ships. That hasn’t been the case since Tuesday, however, when a 200,000-ton container ship ran aground and became lodged in the narrow canal. Although tugboats and earthmovers have attempted to remove the enormous obstruction, so far their efforts have failed as trade on this vital waterway has come to a halt. 

“I have never seen a container vessel this Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 22, 2021

Even during the pandemic, the nation’s airports still manage to move tons of cargo across the country every day. This video takes a close look at how Dallas Fort Worth International Airport transports everything from live animals to human remains in this challenging, fast-paced environment. 

Questions:

  1. How has the pandemic changed transportation and cargo procedures at American Airlines?
  2. Do you think cargo-only flights will continue after the pandemic? Why or why not?
Continue reading...

April 17, 2020

With millions of cars off the road and thousands of airplanes sitting idle on tarmacs, oil consumption has plummeted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to a drastic drop in petroleum prices that could have an enormous impact on the global economy in the months to come. This video looks at how trade tensions caused prices to fall before the Covid-19 crisis and how oil producing nations are now rethinking their priorities. 

Questions:

  1. How has Continue reading
Continue reading...

February 21, 2020

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, train travel was the primary mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Once cars and air travel rose to prominence, however, trains fell out of use in the U.S. while other European and Asian nations greatly expanded their railway capabilities. Along with looking at the history of American train travel, this in-depth video examines a modern company that wants to connect the nation with high-speed trains like so many other countries Continue reading

Continue reading...