This is a fascinating article with commentary from Victor Restis, president of Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A. It provides excellent insight into what the global shipping and trade industry faced in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Protecting the millions of seafarers and staff working in the global shipping industry should be on top of the mind for every person, no matter where you reside. If that system fails, food and supplies scarcity move through quickly, and respectable societies turn on each other in a virtual instant as people fight for survival.
This would be the ultimate nightmare and is something that has been talked about and discussed in governments, Hollywood movies, and biblical prophecies. End Times would be upon us. Thankfully, we are nowhere near that sort of apocalyptic scenario, thanks to the international shipping and trade industry. They fuel the supply chain that moves a product from one country to another. They move your food, oil, goods, and all the little things in-between. Imagine for a moment if that is lost or disrupted. Well, COVID-19 did a fine job in trying.
Mr. Restis points out that the virus definitely placed a strain on supply chains, but ultimately, human resources fought and won. Industry leaders, like Mr. Restis, must have come together quickly to create new workarounds to posing problems. They seemingly were able to relax specific trivial regulations to keep healthy, rested staff on these ships, which is a huge requirement to ensure safety. Through their internal problem-solving skills, they were able to use the International Maritime Employers Council as their voice to reach across borders and work with foreign governments to protect human resources.
It will be interesting to see how Mr. Restis and the international shipping industry will continue to address the challenges of COVID-19. The pandemic just reached new, frightening milestones and showed no sign of letting up on its grip throughout the world. As long as supply chains keep functioning, we (collective global society) can face this pandemic with greater confidence.
The other interesting section of note is the discussion of new technologies in global shipping. I am sure they have all the latest and greatest technologies aboard those gigantic cargo ships – like the one that rescued Tom Hanks in “Castaway.” According to the article, these monster ships carry 80% of the world’s volume of cargo to destinations and ports across the globe. That is impressive.