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The Industrial Revolution saw our world move into an age of development. And as our technology advanced so did our methods of shipping. And it is, without a doubt, thanks to our efficiency at shipping goods and materials that our world has boomed into the capitalist wonderland it is.

But we are now faced with an issue of massive proportions. 2021 could see a massive slowdown in industrial shipping across the globe. But what does this mean? And how does it affect the general public?

 

The Consequences

A shipping slowdown would be exactly what it sounds like. All industrial shipping would take longer to arrive at its destination than before. And this has a knock-on effect as every freighter that is a late will, in turn, make more freighters late.

This slowdown isn’t concerned with your amazon delivers, but rather industrial products such as building equipment and materials. Mass components for electronic factories. New products being shipped in from the warehouse. Everything that isn’t on a store shelf or in an amazon warehouse will suddenly be in short supply.

This means hundreds of companies will suffer. Construction firms will be unable to work and prices for materials will rise significantly. It will become more difficult to find pest control in Rocklin or anywhere due to a lack of chemicals.

And, of course, the biggest issue. Food. A lot of first-world nations no longer produce a lot of food within their own territory. Not enough to feed a nation. So they import a lot of it. Suddenly, store shelves will be bare and empty. Luxury products will vanish. You will have to pre-order food just to secure it.

The Pandemic

The biggest reason for this potential slowdown is, of course, the global pandemic. No one could have seen it coming. No one could have imagined the devastating effect it would have on the economy and the world at large. And we will still be feeling the sting of the pandemic.

The effect of lockdown is, in many counties, imposing a lot of quarantine restrictions on goods being brought into countries. A lot of products have to be locked away for two weeks first to make sure they are safe.

A lot of the import channels are also being reserved to bring in medical equipment and PPE. Which is good considering how vital the fight against the virus is. But the knock-on effect is slowed down shipping.

Brexit

Another massive factor that is contributing is the famous Brexit. For those that don’t know, Brexit was a vote held by the United Kingdom in which they decided to leave the European Union. While they are still sorting out the finer details, it seems it is headed towards a disaster that will have lasting consequences.

Many people are worried that Brexit is going to cause a lot more restrictions for imports in and out of the UK. And, with it being one of the world’s leading superpowers, this is going to have a knock-on effect for everywhere else. This would be fine on its own if it wasn’t for the lockdown effect also piling on top.

Will it Happen?

We have to keep in mind a slowdown of this scale isn’t certain. There are so many things that can bed done to avoid it. Ships can be converted into cargo vessels. Roads can be cleared to ensure quick transport. Governments can reduce taxes on shipping firms and allow them to employ more staff.

We are living in uncertain times. All we can do is believe in each other and keep socially distancing to avoid spreading the virus.