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Suez Canal Continues to be Avoided by Global Trade

The Red Sea shipping crisis continues to disrupt global trade.  The US and its allies conducted another round of strikes on Monday against the Houthi rebel belligerents, hoping to impact their ability to disrupt traffic through the international shipping artery.  However, while the coalition military response continues, trade through the region remains risky, with many ocean lines holding fast to their plan to avoid the trade route entirely. This situation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, well into 2024.

 

Impacts will expand beyond just shipments on this critical route. GEODIS, an International Freight Forwarder, provided the following analysis in a statement released Monday:


As the crisis continues, we expect schedule integrity to degrade, impacting equipment availability which brings additional challenges to the overall booking and planning process [...] It is also important to note that this is not an “Asia origin centric” situation, these same conditions are becoming more prevalent in Europe impacting exports not only to Asia but also transatlantic and “north-south” flow.


Their commentary goes on to cite rate increases, reduced capacity, poorer service integrity, and lower levels of available equipment on the Europe Westbound lanes due to re-routing around the southern tip of Africa.

 

As the BBC noted, this may not be ‘Armageddon’ for the shipping industry, as the global supply chain is ‘highly resilient,’ but “there are already reports of increased costs that will likely get passed on to consumers.”  This comes just as container prices had finally recovered and stabilized after historic highs during the COVID-19 pandemic, though most experts are quick to point out that we are not expected to see a return to those blistering heights.


We at Audit Logistics are continuing to monitor this situation.  If you are concerned about containers on your particular project, and what options you might have to mitigate increased container costs, please reach out to your Freight or Warehouse Manager.

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