Supply chains worldwide have been under serious pressure over the last year. We refer to earlier communication on congestion of ports, lack of container equipment and frequent adjustment of sailing schedules.

As you probably have read in the press, a few days ago a big container vessel ran aground in the Suez Canal. Vessel ‘Ever Given’ of shipping line Evergreen is blocking the Suez Canal in both directions. This is one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and will have an huge impact on shipping lines’ services between Europe and various destinations worldwide.

All shipping lines are currently assessing the options. According to Maersk “the impact on the global supply chain as a result of the vessel blockage in the Suez Canal depends on how long the route remains impassable. We are closely following the refloating operations and will do our upmost to mitigate the delay as best as we can.” While Hapag-Lloyd says to monitor the situation closely and indicates that they are “presently looking into possible vessel diversions around Cape of Good Hope”.
Hamburg Sud informed her customers that they have decided “to announce a total booking stop for all new cargo bookings on NERA service” until the situation is clear [NERA = North Europe – Asia service]. Carrier MSC this morning announced a booking stop (until further notice) for all shipments going Eastbound (Middle East, Far East, IndoPak, Australia, East Africa).

It’s clear that a blocked Suez Canal will have an adverse impact on the services of the container lines in the next weeks.
• Although today we cannot make a good judgement on pending shipments, a delay of two weeks with regard to the ETA of containers underway seems plausible.
• Also it’s too early to give you a better understanding of the impact on the availability of empty container equipment and schedule reliability in the next weeks. But it’s clear that there will be reduced capacity for export in the next weeks.

We await more specific feedback from the shipping lines and subsequently Shipex will provide you with a new update in the next days.

Shipex team