[時事英文] 蘇伊士運河堵塞事件與全球化的未來

The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor
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音檔: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNlmt8DnhGu/

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

巨型貨輪「長賜號」(Ever Given)3月23日在蘇伊士運河的擱淺(已於週一脫淺)對世界經濟來說是個壞消息。然而,世界各地的集裝箱運輸公司總部都在舉杯慶祝——這是承運商們至少自2008年以來最好的一年:船舶滿載、運價飛漲,近幾年利潤微薄,而現在利潤滾滾而來。

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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

但這樣的好消息對於海運公司來說可能是短暫的:大流行驅動的中國出口繁榮消退之後,未來數年內,填充集裝箱的各類貨物的貿易將會萎靡不振。許多運送這些貨物的公司越來越認識到他們打錯了算盤:自1980年代以來定義全球化的長途供應鏈隱藏著風險,蘇伊士運河的阻塞而造成的運輸延誤,只是這種風險的最新例子。

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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

然而,要宣稱全球化之死,還沒有充分的依據。只不過,我們所知道的自1980年代以來的全球化階段已經走過了巔峰。在那個階段,先進經濟體中訓練有素的僱員設計出產品,並在低薪地區進行實際的製造。而取代它的全球化的新階段正在迅速發展,在該階段,工廠生產和外國投資的重要性不如服務和思想的流動。

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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

在全球化的下一階段,裝滿金屬集裝箱的貨輪將不再是故事的中心。

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文章來自《紐約時報》: https://nyti.ms/3rWbYf7

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