The attacks in the Red Sea
A regional crisis with global repercussions
As an artificial waterway, the 193-kilometre-long Suez Canal connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and is one of the busiest sea routes in the world. Its role in global logistics and international trade can therefore hardly be overestimated. Here are some facts and figures that impressively demonstrate the importance of the region for the global economy:
- According to the Suez Canal Authority, an average of 51.5 ships per day pass through the canal year after year.
- Around 12 per cent of global trade passes through the Suez Canal. This emphasises the importance of the Red Sea as a main transport route.
- The canal is particularly important for the transport of oil: around 30 per cent of the world's container shiploads and around 22 per cent of the world's crude oil pass through the Suez Canal.
- The Red Sea is surrounded by countries with substantial oil reserves. Saudi Arabia, which lies on the Red Sea, has around 17 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves.
- The canal contributes significantly to Egypt's national income. The income from the Suez Canal amounts to around 5.6 billion US dollars per year.
The problem: because the Houthi rebels are continuing their attacks in the Red Sea, container ships travelling between Asia and Europe are now sailing around the southern tip of Africa instead of through the Suez Canal. This diversions delays the delivery of important goods and costs a lot of money. Unfortunately, there is currently no end to the crisis in sight. On the contrary: there are new reports of attacks every day and it remains to be seen how effective the protection provided by the US-led coalition in the Red Sea will be.
As a logistics service provider, we are of course feeling the effects of the crisis directly. There is a lot of unrest on the market and many ships are unable to unload goods as planned. This is resulting in longer transit times and a shortage of empty equipment, which we also urgently need for all other shipping areas. The crisis is therefore not limited to the Red Sea, but affects logistics worldwide.
Do you have any questions about our sea freight solutions or would you like to find out more about Skyline Express? Our sea freight team will be happy to advise you personally.