Mar 30, 2021
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Suez Canal unblocked but parcel delays will continue - report

Mar 30, 2021

The Ever Given has been refloated after nearly a week blocking the Suez Canal, but “global e-commerce will flounder amid delays”, according to delivery specialist ParcelHero.

Photo: Public domain/Pexels

It welcomed the achievement in unblocking what’s a key artery for global trade, but it said the blockage will cost £4.35 billion and delay many Amazon and other e-commerce orders for weeks.

In particular, the problems caused by the Taiwanese mega-container ship are expected to create delays of e-commerce items from China of several weeks. And parcelHero said “the impact on global trade will still be felt for months to come”.

Its Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks (the former Editor of Lloyds Shipping Index) said £7 billion worth of goods have been held up every day and Amazon and other online retailers will be particularly hard hit.

“The 200,000-tonne Ever Given was carrying 18,300 containers, but that is only the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “A total of 367 vessels were waiting to pass through, and officials have said it will take at least three-and-a-half days to clear the traffic jam. About 12% of global trade passes through the canal each day”.
He added that “many of the container ships delayed, including the Ever Given herself, are carrying e-commerce goods from Amazon, eBay and Alibaba”.

One problem is that many shipments planning to use the Suez Canal will have already diverted around the Horn of Africa, adding at least another seven days to their arrival in the UK.

And shipping broker Braemar ACM said the cost of renting some vessels for voyages to and from Asia and the Middle East had jumped 47%.

Meanwhile, the German insurer Allianz has said the canal’s closure could reduce annual trade growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points.

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