Disruption to shipments from/to Europe via Red Sea and Suez Canal

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

One of the world’s key routes for commercial shipping travelling between Asia and Europe is the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.  Recently however, Houthi rebels have been attacking random ships on the western coast of Yemen in the Red Sea. 

As a result, more than 100 fuel tankers and container ships so far, have been re-routed to travel around the south of Africa, via the Cape of Good Hope, adding at least 7 days and up to 4 weeks or around 6000 nautical miles to an average journey between Asia and Europe.

It has been reported by Kuehne and Nagel that around 1.3 million x 20ft containers have been diverted, along with oil and gas tankers. 

The disruption has already contributed to higher oil prices.   It is anticipated that energy tariffs could also be affected down the track, along with supply chains being impacted by the reduced availability of shipping resources and returned emptied containers.

Clarke Global Logistics advises that all our client shipments coming from Europe will be affected, with rates to go up significantly.  China has already advised a general rate increase (GRI) to be implemented from the 1st of January 2024.   There is also the likelihood that exports to Europe and the Mediterranean will also be affected due to the possibility of vessels not accepting bookings to certain ports.

If you have cargo booked on a service that was originally scheduled to transit through Suez or is destined for ports in the Red Sea, expect modifications to be made to the schedule and ETA, and for cargo already loaded, these changes to be made after leaving the last port of loading before transiting the Red Sea and Suez Canal.   

If you are not sure if your shipment is affected, please feel free to contact the team at Clarke Global Logistics and we will be able to provide the latest vessel advice for your shipment.  Along with receiving regular updates from our shipping line partners, we are assessing the situation to find the most suitable solutions for your shipments to minimize the impact of the disruption. 

Photo by Eric Seddon:


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