About an hour ago I found this article explaining how shippers went for even bigger ships than before, thinking economies of scale would help them make more money.
I’m thinking in networking terms but
- Bigger container ships
==Ethernet Jumbo frames
- Global shipping routes
If you have a route across the Internet and every node between the starting point and the end point support jumbo frames, you’re set. If not, you can keep them disabled and still reap 90% of the benefits.
This is not so with actual physical matter being transported via ships. Ports can’t be replaced in a few weeks or months. Expansion of a port often takes years (NYC, LA, Duluth) and costs can run into hundreds of millions of dollars. You can’t exacly load balance across ports while you upgrade one the way you can with a network gateway. In this context, extra-jumbo container ships give rise to bursts of frantic activity at ports to get them unloaded, when the entire system relies on port activity being steady.
Add in the COVID-19 pandemic and burst activity will facilitate virus spread throughout port workers. None of this is a good combination. Wonder if there are any studies that apply IP networking concepts to the study of seafaring shipping?