Attacks in the Red Sea on Merchant Containerships

Due to the recent attacks in the Red Sea on merchant containerships, the majority of shipping lines have made the decision to divert their routes to avoid the Suez Canal.  This alternative route schedule affects vessels which carry import and export cargo to and from Europe, in particular from China.

The alternative route is around the Cape of Good Hope which adds on anything from 7 to 20 days extra transit time on shipments that would ordinarily utilise the Suez Canal.  This means that a shipment from China to the UK now can take up to 50 days.

The most obvious knock-on-effect to global trade is the increase in transit time from the far east to the UK.  There will also be further repercussions down the line, such as blank sailings (when a schedule is changed to not stop at some ports), issues with empty containers in the wrong places, increased demand for alternative shipping modes and routes (such as air freight if you cannot wait the extra transit time, or seeking alternative exports such as manufacturers in Turkey), and more immediately, an increase in costs due to surcharges and insurance rises.

The situation is changing all the time, and each individual shipping line is making their own decisions as to how to manage the situation.  We will be contacting all our customers who have shipments on the water that are affected by these developments.

If you have a shipment that is ready to go from China, then get in touch with our team for a quote and the latest information regarding shipping times.  Our team can be contacted by calling (+44) 02392 756 575, emailing sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk or completing the form below and someone will be in touch.

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