Liner diversions and war-risk surcharges drive up costs for Asia-Europe shippers

Asia-to-Europe shippers are facing huge increases in sea freight costs, due to the escalation in missile and drone attacks by Houthi rebels on merchant shipping on passage to and from the Suez Canal. Ocean carriers are already charging war-risk surcharges, but with the situation deteriorating daily, shipping lines will increasingly look to re-route vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, rather than transiting the Suez Canal. This will add at least another 10 days to voyage times.

Carriers that have instructed their ships to pause voyages until further notice, anticipating an international US-led task force restoring a safe approach to the waterway, could ultimately see transit times for these vessels extended even further.

The impact on supply chains will be compounded by the crowding of ships at ports, landside congestion and shortages of empty containers, reminiscent of the grounding of the “Ever Given”, blocking the Suez Canal for six days. Several weeks, if not months, of supply chain disruption look likely, with ships and containers in the wrong places in the build-up to Chinese New Year, which starts on 10 February.

Be assured that we will endeavor to track the movement of re-routed or delayed vessels from Asia, providing status updates regularly and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss alternative options for your cargo, for example our rail freight and air freight services to and from Asia, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We appreciate your trust and loyalty as we work through these challenging circumstances. 

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