As you may have seen in the media, many of the world’s largest container shipping companies have paused shipping via the Red Sea and Suez Canal following attacks on vessels by Houthi militants.

Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, HMM and OOCL – among others – have all moved to re-route ships around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa. While we are investigating the full extent to which our customers are likely to be impacted, there is significant potential for delays and additional costs to be incurred.

The alternative route is 40% longer for vessels operating on Asia-Europe trade lanes – which are likely to be hit hardest – with the potential to add at least 10 days to transit times. This could have an impact on both the arrival of household goods currently scheduled for delivery, as well as the collection of household goods due to sail in the coming weeks, as lines adjust their itineraries.

The extra transit distance also means that shippers are incurring additional costs, with container shipping rates forecast to rise. We are already seeing these increases, with some lines having already notified us of surcharge levies.

Many lines have stated that the pause will be indefinite, and until such time that safety of passage in the Red Sea can be guaranteed. It is therefore currently unclear how long this situation will continue but we are monitoring it closely.

We will provide further updates in due course and will be reaching out to anyone directly effected.