Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Freight Forwarding Group Highlights Container Shipping Problems if Suez Closes

New Report Updates How Faster Steaming and Glut of Ships Can Accommodate Problems - but at a Cost
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – The latest newsletter from freight forwarding group the British International Freight Association (BIFA) draws attention to the latest Container Insight report from maritime information company Drewry, highlighting the increased risk to movement of container and other shipping through the Suez Canal in the light of the recent unrest in Egypt. Much of the work to prepare the report had undoubtedly already been readied after the problems in the region over the past year or so.

Despite the natural apprehension such a situation engenders in the international shipping community Drewry uses its usual expertise to give a measured appreciation of what might happen should the threat from the recently elected then deposed Muslim Brotherhood, or indeed any other political group, escalate to a terrorist type situation.

The report concludes that by abandoning the current practices of slow steaming, and, with the recent glut of available tonnage, the suspension of services through the canal would not have a seriously deleterious effect on global ocean freight services. This however is not to say that there would not be serious side effects in that transit times are almost bound to lengthen despite the higher speeds, and rates to accommodate the increased costs of fuel and time at sea would certainly mean ‘a hefty surcharge to cover the cost of deviating around the Cape of Good Hope’ as Drewry succinctly puts it.

The report is available to read in full HERE.

Photo: An Israeli submarine, INS Leviathan, passing through Suez four years ago.