Suez Canal – An Update For HGL Customers

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As you’re probably aware, following the extensive news coverage, there was a serious incident in the Suez Canal involving the vessel Ever Given, which ran aground on 23rd March at 07:40 Eastern European Time. All traffic through the canal was blocked as a result.

While the ship has now been refloated, and the Suez Canal reopened to all traffic, the incident had a significant impact on global freight movements, with hundreds of other vessels held up by the closure. The Suez Canal is the quickest transit route from Europe to the Far East and Australasia and offers a 14-day quicker transit than alternative routes, making it one of the most important arteries in global trade.

HGL is closely monitoring the situation as we had containers on board both the Ever Given and other vessels that were held up on approach to the Suez Canal as a result of the incident.

At this stage, it is very difficult to determine what impact this will have on scheduled ETAs to worldwide ports. However, there is likely to be severe disruption/congestion at all ports for the next few weeks as a result of the backlog of vessels that accumulated.

All vessels delayed by the Suez Canal closure will be requesting berthing slots at their port call once the blockage is cleared. Many key ports around the world are already suffering from congestion, and this causes further complications.

We are also aware that some shipping lines have suspended export bookings while they assess the situation. Our teams continue to work tirelessly to source solutions for any export enquiries you may have. However, in light of this information, there is likely to be a significant reduction in ocean services available.

Inbound shipments to New Zealand and Australia are still being accepted, although we expect significant disruption to upcoming sailing schedules and transit times.

While HGL hopes that any disruption is kept to a minimum, we are aware that the implications could be far-reaching, and we could see a global container shortage and rate increases in the near future.

Our operations departments will closely monitor your bookings and keep you up to date with any developments and ETA changes as they become available.

While it is difficult at this stage to determine how long delays may be, it would be prudent to factor in a minimum delay of approximately 10 days for any shipments you have on the ocean.

Please do not hesitate to contact our team should you require any further information.