Astleys News


24 January 2024

Red Sea Chaos may only just have begun...

Cameron Bowie, UK Managing Director of shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd, warned in the Telegraph (23/1/24) of a second wave of disruption.
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Astleys are increasingly being contacted by suppliers, warning of potential and significant disruption as the conflict in the Red Sea continues.

It is said that delays could last for months even after the Houthi attacks on shipping in the Bab El-Mandeb Strait have stopped.

Please be aware that, despite our best efforts to minimise disruption, there will likely be challenges in sourcing products over the next months.

These delays will also come at increased cost as shipping is re-routed around the Cape of Good Hope of Africa, incurring and additional 3,500 miles transport and further disruption is expected as vessels will be in the wrong place further delaying the return to normality after the crisis has been averted.
Inevitably, these delays and increased transport costs will have consequences on both the availability and price of goods coming into the UK.
The Houthis have carried out more than 30 attacks on commercial shipping, sparking an international naval response and retaliatory missile strikes from the U.S. & U.K.
Ships travelling through the Bab El-Mandeb strait are on the way to or from the Suez Canal - this accounts for 12% of global seaborne trade. Diversions around South Africa add up to 14 days to delivery times creating a massive (170%) increase in shipping costs.
Astleys learnt a lot from the challenges of COVID and are working with our suppliers to mitigate the impact that shortages have on availability and price. However, we are already being advised by suppliers of shortages and pressures on price. We strongly advise that you secure supplies of critical consumables against the likely continued shortages. Please call us to discuss any concerns you may have and we will do our utmost to assist with your requirements.
Product Areas most likely to be affected...