Hey hey! Who's got two thumbs and had an international maritime shipment at sea while the Ever Given ran aground?
The whole catastrophe is a buried lede deep down in the bowels of the story:
Alongside lost cargo, businesses are also facing ‘general average’ costs. This principle of maritime law means that if shipowners incur losses for the common good, everyone – including cargo receivers – is asked to proportionally share expenses.
Let's rewrite that to actually reflect the facts on the ground:
Maritime law is so Dutch East India Company Olde-Tymey that the vessel is legally entitled to shake down its cargo to cover fines, ransoms and extortions.
Now - the different cargo owners, shipping agents, aggregators and other ne'er-do-wells in the story all have everything wrapped in an Everlasting Gobstopper of territorial laws, agreements, binding arbitration contracts and hold-harmless clauses but those things exist in ports, not the "high sea". And so long as the vessel is not in port it is at "high sea" where the laws haven't changed substantially since the age of tall ships. For example, the vessel is fully crewed because otherwise it would be "in distress" and shift into a salvage category. If there is no designated officer of record on board, it becomes pure salvage and whoever boards it and holds it claims legal title to it.
All this will crash into the litigious realities of multinational corporations pissing on each other if anybody actually moves. Maersk will have beef with Egypt and file an international claim etc. and things get ugly forever. In the meantime, Egypt is shaking Maersk down and everybody knows it and nobody who has any cargo on that ship has any fucking recourse whatsoever. Been there, done that, have the eight notarized forms signing over all my legal authority to everything to prove it. The people I signed my authority over to don't have any either - my shit sat in holding for ten days because Customs had beef with something else in the container and as far as Customs is concerned, one box = 1 beef.
Who can come up with a relatable animal simile form me for 2,000 blue whales?
Ships are fuckin' heavy. See this guy?
That's a 30' Bayliner Ciera. It weighs 12,000 lbs empty. Ready to go cruise drunk around the lake, it weighs double one of these:
But that's okay, because vessels don't "weigh" because you're not picking them up. They "displace" because there's water involved. And the Ever Given "displaces" more than twice as much as a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.