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Yes, we've all been tickled pink by the photos of a sideways ship throwing one giant spanner in the workings of the global economy. The teeny tiny digger that's meant to free it from the sand even became a meme. But, it's possible that new stocks of the PlayStation 5 have been held up by the interruption to trade. Not quite so funny now, is it?
Business Insider pointed out in its report on the ship's situation that consumer electronics like video game consoles are usually built in factories in Asia, and then taken to other markets via maritime routes. The Suez Canal, an artificial waterway that connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the biggest trade routes for countless industries and facilitates approximately 12% of total trade around the world.
Let's rewind for a second here. There is a concurrent shortage of semiconductors that are used in a variety of electronic devices like televisions, cars, laptops, phones, digital cameras, and so on. This scarcity started at the start of the pandemic, as again, these parts are made in factories in Asia and thousands of people could not work owing to the risk to their health. The companies that make semiconductors (and there aren't a lot of them) are now doing their best to catch up with the demand, and this isn't counting the fact that these components use rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are not rare, weirdly enough, but the issue lies in separating these metals from the rest of the raw material. Coincidentally, Chinese companies have cornered the market when it comes to this type of intensive processing. You get what I'm going on about.
We don't know for certain, but it is highly likely that shipments of the PlayStation 5 will be stalled because the Ever Given ran aground earlier this month. BBC News reports that 367 ships are waiting to travel past the trapped vessel, and of course, this number is only going to rise. Thankfully, the salvage teams involved in the removal of the ship from the Suez Canal made major progress yesterday, moving it almost 100 metres from the shore. "We have movement, which is good news. But I wouldn't say it's a piece of cake now," said the CEO of Smit Salvage. While you wait for news, I recommend bookmarking IsTheShipStillStuck.com, where you can see exactly where the vessel is, extra reading on the topic, and the latest updates on its orientation.
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