Risk Outlook—Global Trade in 2024 to be a Rocky Road

by Carolyn Mathas

We’re moving from the post-pandemic calm to another tumultuous year for global trade. According to Everstream Analytics’ just-released annual risk report, several challenges are brewing. These challenges include weather, drought, geopolitical instability, cyberattacks, a return to commodity shortages, environmental regulations, and the trade war between the U.S. and China.

Interesting facts in the report include:

  • The U.S. experiences a billion-dollar weather event every three weeks compared to every four months in the 1980s
  • Drought-imposed restrictions at the Panama Canal for lower capacity limits and longer wait times
  • Rerouting cargo through the Suez Canal faces a challenge in the Red Sea, where Houthi rebels are escalating attacks, so many vessels are canceling their journeys
  • The Horn of Africa is heating up, while Taiwan is the next potential hotspot
  • Supply-chain cyberattacks are at a five-year high (2023)
  • Commodity shortages resulting from extreme weather events
  • S./China trade war restrictions are increasing
  • More strict environmental regulations and net-zero policies will disrupt supply chains

It’s difficult to see any breaks in the challenges coming this year.

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