Remember that ship that had its 15 minutes of fame last month when it blocked the Suez Canal
, inspired a week of incredible memes, and threatened to upend the entire global economy?
As it turns out, although the news cycle has moved on and the iconic Twitter guy
has mostly stopped posting, the 18,000 containers that were on the Ever Given have been seized by Egyptian authorities and are being held, along with the ship itself and the 25 crew members.
Canyon has a shipment of bikes stuck on the Ever Given, a spokesperson said in March
, and Bird Cycleworks posted last week that there's a shipment of new hardtails aboard, too.
|Why is this relevant I hear you ask? Well.... in one of those containers is our next batch of Zero AM 27.5 frames in three fresh new colours that we were hoping to be able to build about now. The Zero AM is one of three hardtail frames that we were planning to release this year.—Bird Cycleworks|
It was easy to imagine that the saga would end with the freeing of the ship, but that was just not the case. Once the ship was moved out of the way to the Great Bitter Lake in Egypt, the drama became more complicated. Now, behind the scenes, a logistical and administrative nightmare is unfolding.
When the Ever Given was cleared from the canal, the Suez Canal Authority seized the ship and demanded more than $900 million USD in compensation for the recovery effort, damage to the canal, damage to the canal's reputation, and lost revenue, though the nearly-billion-dollar figure hasn't been fully justified or itemized. Jai Sharma, a maritime lawyer with Clyde & Co, a London firm representing several insurers of cargo on board the Ever Given, told NPR
that he has never seen a salvage demand of this scale.
And the $900 million is just in the negotiations between the SCA and Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the ship's owner. Since the ship is loaded with 18,000 containers full of all kinds of consumer goods, there are myriad stakeholders and a lot
of lawyers and insurance companies involved.
Even when the financial side of things is sorted out, which may not be anytime soon, the actual removal of the containers from the ship will be tricky. The cranes needed to unload a ship of that monstrous size are not available outside of the world's major seaports, and certainly not at a lake in Egypt. The ship will need to be moved before the Canyon, Bird, and likely many other bikes are rescued.
The bike shortage is not new, and we knew the Suez Canal blockage would affect things even further, but the effects seem to be compounding in grimly surreal ways.
progress being made
Any idea of the scale of business and production you would need to keep up with demand?
I’m more than sure some companies are looking to re-shore after what has been an odd period of time but it’s not going to be an overnight thing, it will take years, possibly decades to see any large scale changes.
And in Europe, we totally wiped out that manufacturing so no one wants to invest millions into manufacturing before it really pays off. I think it will be very interesting.
What could happen is that they keep producing in China while the prices for end consumer will keep rising but at no additional value for them. And how knows how far this will take and if it will actually help to move manufacturing back to Europe at any point at all.
However there is another side of this and thats dependency on one country to produce for the majority of the world. And we already know that is not the best experience and being dependable will probably do more harm on many other levels.
Making an aluminium frame in Europe isn’t an issue, nor is the funding it seems - an automated plant is either being built or planned to be built that can construct a HT frame in something obscene like 7 mins, but that’s low end stuff, not labour intensive like carbon, but robots are getting cheaper and people more imaginative with them so automation likely the cure there.
The big problem though aside from all of this and why I say it would take years maybe decades - the industry is centred in Taiwan / China, so you want to build a bike, frame is made in Taiwan, so are almost all of the parts required to build it, you send them down the road for assembly. Build them in Europe and Shimano / Sram etc are shipping you containers of parts over sea to build bikes, and we can’t automate bike building very easily so those $7500 annual wages now count.
I have said before, I know of a company that actually lost an order to an OEM as they manufactured in Europe and would have to ship to Taiwan for assembly.
Ebikes will only make this worse I would think, it’s a long way off seeing a bike built in Europe.
I think the legal loophole is that they are fulfilling their contracts in which they agreed to remain at sea.
Everyone with goods on that ship, including myelf, has been notififed by their importer that they are gettig hit for General Average. We must all share the cost of rescue. Standard maritime insurance only covers vessels lost at sea. In the case of a rescue or a fire, the owners of any salvaged cargo split the cost of the rescue (unless they had specific insurance to cover against that).
No idea how much it's going to cost, but $900M divided by 18000 is a lot more than the shipping service itself cost.
Egypt is just looking for a payday here, the most financially hit victims are the ones waiting on this shipment and the ones on all of the other ships that were stuck behind this one.
I have my doubts they get this money after pressure from surrounding countries forces them to back off. It's about the larger trade picture and politics.
Could be an expensive mistake for a lot of peeps this one, though the 900mil is absolute bullshit.
Hopefully something is worked out for you and you aren’t in desperate need of whatever is still sitting on that boat.
The shipper even said he never takes out extra insurance because nothing ever goes wrong. It’s a one in a million chance. And then to find out that if the ship actually sank we would be fully covered, but if it beaches it’s considered to be imperilment/rescue so they can apply general average.
Added to that, the cost of recovery is being paid by the ship’s insurer.
The SCA literally has costs of whatever ships diverted around Africa, which was very few. The ships that queued up all went through a week later, and they all paid.
It’s piracy I tell thee!
its already affecting the tech industry. Combine human error, covid and the
enviornment and we got plenty to be dealing with, chuck in a few wars to
add a little spice to the mix, who cares as long as it doesnt affect me ?
Like one for every bike brand maybe?
All parties should counter sue Egypt for their negligent canal, negligent guide, and generally being idiots.
If it’s the former you still have this issue, where do you think the parts come from and how are they shipped.
Hope made my bottom bracket and Brakes in the U.K., headset made in USA hubs are swiss made, rims are French, Seatpost, handlebars & grips made in USA. Cranx made in USA by Boone, stem made in USA only Asian components on my bike are shifters, cassette, chain & tires FWIW. On my single speed the only Asian parts are the chain and tires.
It can be done. It isn’t cheap; but plenty of great stuff made with sustainable labor practices.
Unless said companies can develop the ability to manufacture at scale, reduce pricing by a huge margin and move to allow for ease of delivery for assembly the problem still remains though.
I didnt say parts couldnt be made in the USA, France, UK etc - But my consitant argument is that the reason bikes are made in Taiwan is much more complicated than just the manufacture of each individual component.
Your bike sounds really nice - but the person stretching to a $2000 bike on credit isnt going to be convinced.
I guess my point is that it isn’t any more than top of the line components from Taiwan the marketing and margins just can’t compete
Nah, 25 is pretty much normal. Crew are expensive and robots work for free.
Ironically prescient article:
Gotta keep those profit margins yo.