The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor
The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.
- headquarters 總部
- carrier 承運商；運輸工具
- sky-high rates 飛漲的價格
- slim profits 微薄的利潤
But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.
- …-driven boom ～驅動的
- subside 消退
- anemic 萎靡不振的、無精打采的；貧血的
- long-distance supply chains 長途供應鏈
Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.
- pronouncement 宣稱、宣布；聲明
- well founded 有事實根據的；理由充分的
- past its peak 走過巔峰
- a new stage of globalization 全球化的新階段
In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.
- the center of the story 故事的中心