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Business News Roundup, March 24, 2021

Disruption at the Suez Canal, an anticipated mail slowdown, rising gas prices, increasing travel, a supply chain startup, disagreement over emergency powers in Connecticut, and a review process for a State Pier redevelopment are among the top business news items this morning.


Traffic at the Suez Canal has come to a standstill after a cargo ship became wedged across the waterway. Approximately 10 percent of the world’s shipping flows through the canal, and the disruption is likely to exacerbate supply chain issues that have cropped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lead to a jump in oil prices.


Under a 10-year plan put forward by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy with the intention of reducing costs, the United States Post Office would hike postage rates, slow some services, and reduce hours at post offices. The plan also calls for some investments, including better package delivery services for businesses.

Business trends

In a sign of economic growth, gas prices have been increasing steadily and are now 30 percent higher than they were a year ago. Prices are likely to reach $3 a gallon this summer as more people resume travel.

Hotel and flight bookings have risen sharply as COVID-19 vaccines are distributed and people begin making plans for vacations later in the year. Bookings began to surge in February, representing pent-up demand for post-pandemic travel and efforts to secure reservations before they ran out.

The startup FourKites, which has the goal of improving supply chain visibility, has raised more than $200 million. The company seeks to provide real-time tracking of shipments to allow companies to improve their on-time delivery rate and determine where they need to make improvements in their supply chains.


Connecticut lawmakers are sparring over whether to extend Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers beyond their expiration date of April 20. Democrats argue that a one-month extension would help ensure that Connecticut receives federal aid earmarked for states that have declared a public emergency, while Republicans say the legislature needs to play a greater role in the state’s COVID-19 response.

Officials from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection say there are currently no environmental concerns related to a planned redevelopment of State Pier in New London to serve as a facility supporting offshore wind development. DEEP’s review process is ongoing following a tentative approval of the project late last year.

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