We at Excom have been importing telecommunication equipment from Asia for 16 years and have a lot of experience with transport and delivery.
For 6 days, all those in contact with international trade and maritime transport closely followed the media furor about the attempts to release the container ship Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal. With its impressive dimensions of 400 meters in length and 59 meters in width, this ship, commissioned 3 years ago, is one of the world's largest container vessels. It is operated from the Evergreen line and has a capacity of 20,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit, ie 1 TEU = one 20 foot container).
Its deadlock, the difficulties in its release and the impact it has had and will have in particular on traffic through the canal, which is an extremely important global trade route and on world trade in general, have shown how dependent it is on such unexpected events. They also showed how dependent the world is on the regularity and security of the supply chain from "world workshops" in Asia.
So the good news is that the Suez Canal has been liberated, restoring the daily freight traffic of 9.6 billion worth of goods passing through it. However, what are the other news and what impact can we expect in the short term in the coming weeks and months in the field of supply chains.
The clearing of the queue until the full recovery of free traffic through the canal is expected to happen by the end of this week. Delayed arrival of ships at their final destinations is likely to lead to congestion in the ports of unloading and delayed handling due to the simultaneous arrival of many vessels together. These ships, which were rerouted on the route around Cape of Good Hope with a longer transit time of about 10 days to 2 weeks to Europe, will be at the same time in the ports of unloading as the ships that passed after the liberation of Suez.
All this is expected to lead to another and prolonged lack of ship capacity in the next one to two months, which will actually increase the number and effect of the already announced by the container lines "blank sailings", ie. weeks without sailing. Some container lines have already begun to limit the acceptance of orders for the coming weeks in an attempt to restore normal sailing schedules.
The delayed handling of the ships, which we wrote about above, will also lead to a delay in the unloading of the containerized cargo, their release, local deliveries and the return of the empty containers to the liner operators for further operation.
As a result, the long-awaited fall in unrealistically high prices for container transport from Asia will also be postponed for at least another one to two months.
Ie In short, the most important effects to keep in mind are:
- Delays in deliveries and new weeks without sailing, as well as difficulties in securing places on ships
- Difficulties in providing sufficient containers for expeditions from Asia, but also difficulties in providing the necessary empty equipment for export from Bulgaria
- Maintaining levels and even increasing prices for container transport from Asia in the short term.
- Maintaining the levels and even increasing the prices of our products to you - our customers.