Shipping lines continue to avoid the Suez Canal and instead route around Africa due to the recent increase in Red Sea attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants. The current situation is very fragile and constantly changing.

The safety of the crew onboard vessels remains top priority and until a safe passage can be found, the diversion will continue. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a time frame on how long this may take.

Daily amendments to schedules, along with pricing adjustments, are creating a very volatile marketplace, disrupting supply chains similar to what we saw during the pandemic.

This in turn has led to longer transits causing severe scheduling issues as vessels cannot return to Asia in time for their planned berthing slots. This has resulted in blank sailing which has already seen a 37% drop in capacity in this week alone and looks set to increase as carriers track their vessels and continue to adjust sailings daily.

This will continue to lead to a lack in replenishment of empty containers and we have already seen notices of equipment shortages being sent by lines.  This will be a particular challenge as we approach Chinese New Year and the collection of empty containers will be more controlled.

Shipping lines have already introduced new surcharges, with many already applied to containers that have already shipped. The CMA announced last week that the new FAK rate, Far East to EU would be $6,000 in January and I am sure other will follow suit.

We are closely monitoring this situation and will be keeping all clients fully updated.


Sarah Taylor

Managing Director

Grace Overseas

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