The items that could be delayed due to Red Sea shipping crisis

European shipping companies have ordered their vessels to avoid passing through the Red Sea following a spate of missile attacks launched by Houthi rebels.

UK-bound items could face missing Christmas deadlines as Danish shipping company Maersk and German company Hapag-Lloyd have stated their intentions for their ships to avoid passing through the Red Sea.

One of the world’s most important shipping routes, around 17,000 ships and 10 percent of global trade pass through the Red Sea each year.

It is the pathway to and from the key trading route of the Suez Canal, which was blocked for six days in 2021 obstructing trade, via the Indian Ocean.

Passage through the Red Sea can no longer be deemed safe after the Yemeni rebel movement, the Houthis, have been targeting ships travelling to Israel with missile attacks in response to the ongoing conflict in Palestine.

In a statement given to the BBC, Danish shipping company Maersk said: “The recent attacks on commercial vessels in the area are alarming and pose a significant threat to the safety and security of seafarers.”

Director General at the Institute of Export & International Trade, Marco Forgione, admitted that pausing and potentially rerouting Red Sea shipping journeys “could not come at a more difficult time.”

“This impacts every link in the supply chain… and will only increase the chances of critical products not making their destinations in time for Christmas,” he added.

Avoiding the perilous Bab al-Mandab strait, a 20 mile-wide channel located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, means vessels will have to take much longer routes – significantly disrupting the supply chain in time for Christmas.

A drought in the Panama Canal has also alerted shipping companies and consumers to the potential of further disruptions this month.

Particular items bound for the UK this Christmas time that now could be facing nationwide shortages are:

Meat (from Thailand) – particularly bovine

Crude oil (from Papua New Guinea) – a substance essential for a number of consumer goods

Nuts (from Vietnam) – particularly cashews

Large amounts of fruit, vegetables, coffee, tea, and meat (from Peru) – including grapes, avocados, garlic, onions, and poultry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *