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Suez is flowing again – implications for importers

In Delays Posted March 30, 2021 at 5:03 pm
By David Thatcher

Suez is flowing

The Suez is flowing and the first ships have begun making their way through the Suez Canal, almost a week after the 20,388 teu Ever Given was grounded. Shipping forwarders with cargo awaiting entry to the canal could be looking at weeks of supply chain disruption.

There are 357 vessels of all types waiting to transit the Suez. Estimates vary from weeks to months as to how long it will take to clear the backlog. As more vessels either reach the Suez or re-route around Africa, these estimates are subject to change. In addition to delays, the ripple effects of the week-long closure on global capacity and equipment are also considerable. The capacity taken up by vessels at anchor outside the canal or re-routing via South Africa is enormous. Vessels making a return trip via the Cape can take up to an additional 26 days.

These longer transit times equate to 6% of global capacity or 74 ultra-large 20,000 TEU container vessels. The capacity absorbed by the canal blockage will have an impact across the globe. Space and equipment shortages will impact all trade lanes, as carriers re-allocate vessels to locations with the greatest need.

With direct air freight space from Europe hard to come by and rates still high, importers are stuck with a choice between unsustainable transit times and crippling freight rates. Magellan Logistics has developed an Air/Sea option that has seen many clients manage their demand throughout the pandemic. Suitable for non-urgent airfreight or urgent sea freight, our Air/Sea option reduces overall air transportation costs by at least 50% and cuts sea transit times in half.

If you’re importing from Europe (or the USA and the Indian sub-continent) and would like to explore your options, click here for more information or get in touch with our sales team on 1300 651 888.

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