Red Sea Attacks: Shipping Updates

Red Sea Attacks: Shipping Updates

Shipping lines which bring the containers from the Far East to Europe have decided that it is not safe to send their ships via the short Red Sea route following attacks on vessels.  A prolonged campaign targeting commercial vessels could disrupt the global economy by delaying deliveries of goods, fuel and food, and pushing up prices.



Our forwarders have advised that the current diversion in place will add further 2-3 weeks to the delivery time and a considerable amount of additional costs. It's no surprise that prices for shipping a container have risen 400% since mid December. This in itself would not be too much of a problem except that it comes at the worst possible time, Chinese New Year. Space on the ships is always tight as everyone tries to get stock out before the 2-4 week Chinese holiday. This combined with a round trip to Europe extending from 8 weeks to 12 weeks means that there is going to be 30% less space available and the journey is going to take 50% longer.

The effects will not show in the market in terms of stock availability until around the end of February. At this time of year we typically get some storms, particularly on the longer South Africa route. This could make the situation even more pronounced because it slows down the ships and can force them to take refuge in a sheltered place like the Mediterranean sea.

As things stand our stocks are good, and we expect to be able to ride out the situation for our customers. We do however not have enough stock to support a deluge of new customers who cannot get supplies from their usual distributors. So in the event of the situation getting any worse, we will close the website to new customers just like we did during the COVID peaks. Stocks will be for our regular, loyal customers and do our utmost to keep you fully supplied.

We see ourselves as your procurement department and will do our very best to keep key lines in stock or have a good alternative available. Sometimes we will have to pay a slightly higher price for the stock, but we consider that worth paying in order to make sure that we have it available for you. As always, we will then do our best to get the price back down to a pre-crisis level as soon as possible. In 2023 we dropped 1500+ prices for all customers without you having to ask.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the Red Sea and provide updates when required.

Sam Gompels

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