Red Sea Loses $35 Billion in Cargo to Alternate Routes
Kuehne+Nagel reports 57 container vessels are now circumventing the Red Sea and Suez Canal, choosing instead the lengthier route around Africa.
Due to the ongoing threat of attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen, there has been a substantial rerouting of cargo originally destined to pass through the Red Sea, impacting nearly $35 billion worth of cargo. This diversion is directly connected to the recent Israel-Hamas war, which has escalated tensions in the region.
- Cargo Value Diverted: Approximately $35 billion
- Container Vessels Rerouted: 57, opting for longer routes around Africa
Impact on Maritime Operations:
The impact of this diversion is being keenly felt across the shipping industry. Notably, Paolo Montrone from Kuehne+Nagel reports a substantial shift in maritime traffic, with 57 container vessels now circumventing the Red Sea and Suez Canal, choosing instead the lengthier route around Africa. This change affects about 700,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), representing a significant chunk of global trade.
Supply Chain Disruptions:
The repercussions extend beyond mere rerouting. Logistics firms are bracing for delays, with the potential for port congestion and supply chain interruptions. In the midst of this, carriers are tasked with the challenging job of communicating these delays to their U.S. clients, as the threat from the Houthis, backed by Iran and aligned with Hamas, remains a persistent concern.
Despite these challenges, the industry is adapting. Antonella Teodoro of MDS Transmodal highlights that fleet capacity has grown by over 20% in the past year, providing some leeway to manage these diverted shipments. Furthermore, ocean carriers are exploring network adjustments to mitigate the impact.
The industry is on alert for potential spikes in freight rates and the implementation of War Risk Surcharges. Logistics companies are advising clients on alternative routes and extended transit times.