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Situation in the Red Sea: how does it impact on shipping?

Situation in the Red Sea: how does it impact on shipping?

Situation in the Red Sea: how does it impact on shipping?

The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most important shipping corridors and the shortest way to transport goods between Europe and Asia. Approximately 18% of the world’s trade volume in 2023 crossed this strategic waterway.

However, the constant attacks in recent months on Suez merchant ships by Houthi rebels have caused the world’s main shipping lines to suspend their routes through the Suez Canal. In fact, according to some international consultancy firms, transits fell by up to 64% in the first two weeks of the year. A decision that has significantly affected the dynamics of maritime transport and, consequently, international trade.

Impact on the logistics sector

The shipping routes directly affected are those between Asia, India and Europe, as well as routes between the Middle East and Europe, which are being diverted, especially around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. This new route, with a longer route around the African coast, poses a logistical and strategic challenge for shipping lines for a number of reasons:

  • Increased tariffs on ocean shipments due to transit time.
  • Delay and detention in the global supply chain.
  • Shortage of sailings due to extended sailing time.
  • Departure cancellations due to route diversions.
Air and rail transport on the rise

In view of this situation, some multinationals warn of possible distortions in the supply of products, especially those sensitive to delays and variations in transport routes.

RFL Cargo, as an international logistics operator, explores viable alternatives, considering in some cases replacing sea freight with air freight to avoid delivery delays. This strategic adaptation seeks to mitigate the negative effects on supply chains and maintain smooth delivery of goods to all customers. Commitment to all of them is fundamental to the company.

On the other hand, many European countries have increased their demand for goods train services and have started to look for a logistical solution to replace sea transport with land transport. The most important advantage is stability. Eurasian rail freight volumes are more reliable and punctual.

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