As if the music industry needed any further operational challenges this year, the “Ever Given” effect on international trade will see further stock shortages and delays in our sector. Even though the Suez Canal has been cleared of its 400m 224,000-ton blockage, there is still work to do to check for damage to the channel and nearly 400 ships are now queued with the backlog expected to take several days to clear.
But these delays at Suez mean we can expect further disruption for ocean freight movements over the next few weeks and possibly months. Purchasing Managers and Logistics Co-ordinators will be reeling the impact in a number of ways andWestbound Logistics have reported on the issues we all need to consider:
- East and westbound delays on vessels snared in the blockage
- Further delays from congestion at Suez Canal to clear backlog
- Delays unloading at UK ports as many vessel arrivals will be condensed
- Delays on vessels already committed to travelling around Africa
- Potential vessel redirections, or even omitted ports
- Further shortages in container equipment as vessels are delayed
- Further congestion issues at UK and European ports as schedules condense
- Potential for more blanked sailings as schedules are disrupted
- More rate increases
- More bunker and temporary surcharges
It’s unlikely that freight agents will have any clarity on expected arrivals into UK ports for some time, so more patience and communication to frustrated customers and consumers will be required all the way through the supply chain.