Commercial Shipping Delays
24th January, 2024

What Is Happening On The Red Sea?

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen, have attacked dozens of ships in the major waterway since November, disrupting international maritime trade and raising concern about the impact on the global economy.

Due to the attacks by Houthi rebels on the Red Sea, there are increasing delays on stocks and delivery times. Alternative shipping routes are now adding an additional 9+ days on the arrival of stocks from overseas to the UK, as well as increasing costs by thousands of pounds. As a result of this, hundreds of products, including healthcare consumables, are falling in short supply.  We are working diligently to ensure we can get orders out and keep stock levels steady. An estimated 30% of the world’s traded consumer goods are shipped through the Suez route. Higher transport costs obviously raise costs for shippers, but how they are affected depends on specific contracts although surcharges may hit them even if they have term-contracts.

How Is This Affecting Business Around the Country?

Not only is cargo shipping being disrupted, but cargo is being destroyed whilst on route. This is causing major stock issues for countries all over hoping to re-stock this new year and get orders out to their customers. Businesses having to choose alternate shipping options, including air and rail freight are dealing with increased costs and prolonged lead times on deliveries.

In order to go around the Red Sea, shipping vessels are expected to travel around the Cape of Good Hope, Africa. This alternate route allows commercial ships another route into European countries. However, this will add 10,00km+ to each journey it completed, which equates to 10+ added days of travelling. these added kilometres, as well as added travel days, are costing companies upwards of £1000 on top of their original shipping costs. 

To avoid these costs and delays, air freight has become in demand. As a result of this, freight airlines are now facing increased demand for air freighting, with no choice but to increase there own prices to cope with demands. 


Shipping delays have resulted in thousands of pounds lost for businesses.

Shipping delays have resulted in thousands of pounds lost for businesses.


What Is The Red Sea Used For?

The Red Sea provides one of the most notorious shipping routes for commercial shipping vessels importing/exporting goods. 40% of Asia to Europe+ trade is done via the Red Sea and the Suez canal, all of which has now been affected by the ongoing attacks. All sorts of shipments are made via the Red Sea, including millions of barrels of oil and diesels fuels every day. Thousands of businesses rely on this method of transportation for stock deliveries and shipping of goods.

During this time, you may experience longer delivery times or notice a slight increase in costs of everyday products. Please bear in mind that businesses are also facing these costs internally with expedited shipping and alternate routes. However, if there are any medical or IT products that you are struggling to get hold of, please reach out to a member of our team today who will help assist with you query.

We will continue to provide and fulfil any quotations that we can during this time!


For more information, contact us 01274 965089 or check out our website at

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