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Walmart not likely to see major shortages from Suez Canal issue, but retail inventories will be stressed

Tugboats and other vessels recently freed the large cargo ship Ever Given after being stuck in the Suez Canal for six days.

SUEZ, Egypt — While the recent Suez Canal blockage grabbed headlines for several days, it merely adds more pressure to a global supply chain problem that hit almost every global economic sector after the COVID-19 pandemic hijacked economies and significantly shifted consumer behavior.

That’s the broad sentiment of Greg Forbis, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Woodridge, Ill.-based RJW Logistics Group, whose experience includes more than 30 years with product shipping at Walmart Inc.

Tugboats and other vessels recently freed the large cargo ship Ever Given after being stuck in the Suez Canal for six days. More than 350 cargo ships carrying everything from oil to cattle to furniture and manufacturing components could not use the strategic canal in Egypt. In 2020, more than 50 ships per day on average passed through the 120-mile long waterway, accounting for around 12% of global trade.

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