The Global Chip Shortage - Why the Evergreen Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal Certainly Isn’t Helping

There has already been a $60 billion global chip shortage occurring for a while now. To make matters even worse, there’s now a giant cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal (one of the world’s most important bodies of water). About a tenth of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, and it could be facing a weeks-long blockage. Billions of dollars are being lost every day due to the blockage.

TL;DR: A ship blocking the Suez Canal is making an already existing global chip shortage even worse.

Apple will continue to be severely impacted. That makes me skeptical if we will even see any new Apple products soon.

Foxconn has already said they expect their customers to be minimally impacted by the shortage. They could be full of it, and maybe iPhones will be affected, but Macs aren’t at that level. They could release them and they could just be hard to get for awhile.

Your article doesn’t mention how the Suez Canal is affecting the shortage. What I have read is that the passage is very important for oil and manufactured goods. Especially for Europe. It may still have an impact, but probably not major, at least for US sales.

1 Like

Would Apple really want that to happen?

Yes. Scarcity makes people want things more. Maybe they wouldn’t with iPhones, but a small market like Macs? Sure.

People waited weeks for M1 Macs, they don’t seem to mind. As @Leeabe51 said, scarcity or just perceived scarcity (“limited edition!”, “only 5,000 will be made”, “individual serial number”), make people want things more.


It seems to me that there’s an “impending chip shortage” story every couple of years. Typhoons in the Pacific; earthquake in China; nuclear plant meltdown; pandemic. Anything out of the mundane in a Asia seems to trigger these stories.

Of course a blockage in the Suez Canal will have an impact on supply chains - the fact that it’s an important route for goods from the Far East is why it matters. But let’s have some data, rather than this speculative “stands to reason” what-passes-for-reporting-these-days.

2 other points:

  • The blockage doesn’t cause a chip shortage - the chips are manufactured in Asia, for the most part. The blockage cause delays to the arrival of components to assembly plants and finished goods to vendors.

  • I automatically dismiss headlines of the form “there are fears of” because they almost never have anything solid to back them up.

*Edited for typos - twice :frowning:


Rerouting around the Cape, which is already being done by many operators means a 1-2 week delay to reach the significant ports (Hamburg, ARA). And high-value goods can (and are) airlifted.

1 Like

Media reports vessel mostly freed and canal open soon (3-days).

1 Like

Wait, since when have Macs been a “small market” by any means?

That lasted shorter than I originally expected…

Do you think that TSMC will be impacted? They think that the global chip shortage will last into 2022. I couldn’t find Bloomberg’s version of the story.

That’s because they quoted Reuters this time.

I am sure it will affect Apple, we just don’t know how much. TSMC isn’t saying anything, other than they are doing everything they can.

The only thing Apple has said about it is that some phone models were constrained due to supply, but that happens all the time.

Could it be worse than usual though? Actually, it might not even impact iPhone production.