The crisis in the Red Sea has plunged the maritime sector into deep uncertainty, threatening to unbalance global trade and generate worldwide economic consequences. With more than 50 attacks by Yemen’s Houthis in recent weeks, the world’s major shipping lines have been forced to halt their operations in this channel.
The Red Sea is a strategic route connecting Europe, Asia and Africa, and the ongoing siege has created a critical situation for international trade. The immediate impact is reflected in a significant delay in the arrival of essential supplies for various industries, generating widespread fears of possible price increases globally.
In this context, Smart Logistics, as a logistics operator with global coverage, keeps abreast of the current situation and is in constant communication with its customers to keep them informed. The aim is to offer them efficient and secure logistics solutions.
The alternative route
One of the most notable responses to this crisis has been the rerouting of vessels that previously transited the Suez Canal. Unable to guarantee safety in the Red Sea, ships are now forced to round Africa via the Cape of Good Hope in the south of the continent. This change means an increase in crossing times of between 12 and 20 days, as well as an increase in the distance travelled from 18,000 to 25,000 kilometres.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has confirmed that at least 18 shipping lines have opted to divert their ships around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid persistent attacks in the Red Sea. This increase in distance and travel time not only affects the operating costs of shipping lines, but also has a direct impact on logistical efficiency and the timely delivery of goods.
The Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC) has also expressed its concern about the lack of supply of consumer products. A situation that could worsen with the arrival of the Chinese New Year on 10 February.
Spain imports 100 billion euros worth of key Asian products annually, such as food, textiles and fashion, hardware and DIY, and technology goods. Delays in delivery time would have a serious impact on the country’s economy.