Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Red Sea: repercussions for Canadian shippers | Middle East, the ;eternal conflict

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Since the outbreak of war in Gaza on October 7, Yemen's Houthis have vowed to disrupt traffic of all ships bound for Israel passing through the Suez Canal in the Red Sea.

The Canadian Press

Canadian shippers are beginning to feel the pressure from attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea, as container rates rise and ships are slow to arrive.

Port data shows two-thirds of the 43 ships expected to dock at the Port of Halifax in the second half of this month are now expected to arrive at least a day late, some a few weeks late.< /p>

According to research firm Drewry, the average price of shipping containers has doubled since mid-December, when Yemen's Houthis stepped up attacks on commercial boats to protest Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The scale of the conflict has prompted all major container carriers to avoid the route that passes through the Suez Canal, opting instead for a route around Africa that can add one to two weeks to transit periods. and increase costs related to fuel, crew and insurance.

The CEO of the Shipping Federation of Canada, Chris Hall, says the delays have left importers scrambling, with struggling stocks still on their way to Canadian shores and shelves.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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But shipments to the West Coast remain largely unchanged so far, while the Global Shippers Forum says excess capacity in the sector means prices will likely stabilize well below pandemic highs.

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