- author, cecilia barria
- Role, bbc news world
Clothes, food, computers and many products that consumers usually buy in stores are taking longer to reach their destinations due to the security crisis in the Red Sea.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have attacked commercial ships crossing the Red Sea on their way to the Suez Canal, forcing shipping companies to take a longer and more expensive alternative route through southern Africa, causing delivery delays.
The attacks, which have been carried out since mid-December, are aimed at punishing Israel, according to the rebel group Gaza wargetting worse.
On Tuesday, the U.S. and British militaries announced they had repelled the Houthi rebels’ “largest attack” to date, downing 18 drones, two cruise missiles and a ballistic missile.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution calling for an immediate end to attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea, citing the right of U.N. member states to defend these vessels.
Yemeni militias claim they are using drones and rockets to attack ships heading to Israel, although it is unclear whether all the ships attacked are heading to Israeli territory.
S&P Global Market Intelligence has documented More than 20 incidents have been confirmed Targeting merchant ships began on November 19th.
Shipping lines such as Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have taken alternative routes to transport containers. It is the most serious maritime emergency of its kind since a ship got stuck in the Suez Canal in 2021, paralyzing much of global trade.
According to Reuters, delays in the arrival of some products from companies such as IKEA, Walmart or Amazon, while rising freight costs are one of the main effects of the crisis.
Increase in sea transport costs
Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School, told BBC Mundo: “In recent days we have seen a sharp increase in container costs along several key trade routes.”
Prices for shipping containers from East Asia to Northern Europe have increased by 199% in recent weeksAccording to data from international freight and market analysis company Freightos.
While the Shanghai to Rotterdam route was one of the worst affected, routes connecting Shanghai to Genoa, Los Angeles and New York also suffered from the effects of the Red Sea crisis.
the red sea is one of the most important roads in the world Used for transportation of consumer goods, oil and LNG.
For ocean shipping, the problem is even more challenging. “We are facing two crises at the same time” that are affecting shipping routes, Shi noted.
One is the Red Sea crisis; the other is The Panama Canal is running out of water.
In this case, any major disruption could upset the delicate balance of shipping.
How much impact will the diversion of the Red Sea route have on the economy?
“The economic consequences of an attack on a merchant ship in the Red Sea depend on the duration of the attack,” Simon Heaney, senior manager of container research at Drewry, told BBC Mundo.
Heaney believes that such a situation “could severely impact global supply chains and take weeks or months to recover” and that the crisis period will arrive in the coming weeks. With the arrival of the Lunar New Year on February 10, business traffic surges.
Experts say there is likely to be some congestion at the port due to delays in ship traffic.
The expert said that one positive aspect of what has happened is that the impact on the energy industry has so far “not been realized” and believes that there is “reason to believe that maritime transport has sufficient capacity”. face challenge.
Despite the difficulties, analysts such as Peter Sand of freight data firm Xeneta insist that “shipping companies are in a better position to deal with the crisis” than when the giant ship Ever Give blocked the canal. Suez Canal in 2021.
what do you see on the horizon
Jack Kennedy, associate director and head of global country risk intelligence and analysis for the Middle East and North Africa at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “Houthi attacks are likely to continue to target international vessels regardless of their public links to Israel.”
Kennedy told BBC Mundo that while the Houthis claimed that the attacks on shipping were solely due to Israeli combat operations in Gaza, the Houthis “are also using their offensive capabilities to exert greater geopolitical influence in the region and Portraying themselves as Israeli actors.” Global importance. “
If so, the impact of the Red Sea crisis may continue to further increase costs, shipping times and delays in product delivery.
Even small delays can cause a domino effect in a product’s manufacturing chain.
This is because global supply chains work together so that every component arrives and is added to the production line in a timely manner.
Any delay affects the rest of the product manufacturing process.
While the problem appears to be limited to shipping companies, analysts warn Consumers around the world may see product price increases in the future.
It all depends on how events evolve in the coming days and weeks.
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