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Delays to continue despite freeing of Ever Given

After the refloating of Ever Given, nearly a week after it grounded in the Suez Canal, the logjam it caused will hit supply chains hard, cost traders billions and delay goods by weeks.

ParcelHero says the impact on global trade of the grounding of the Taiwanese mega-container ship will be felt for months. The closure of the canal has increased shipping costs, created knock-on delays at ports and the loss of many perishable items, the company says. 

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said he estimated that £7bn of goods have been held up every day by the 200,000-tonne ship which was carrying 18,300 containers. It also blocked 367 vessels that were attempting to pass through the canal. 

Jinks said the delays would particularly impact marketplaces such as Amazon. “Many of the container ships delayed, including the “Ever Given” herself, are carrying ecommerce goods from Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. For example, the shipping and freight forwarding company Seaport Freight Services, based at the Port of Felixstowe, has 20 containers of goods stranded on the ship, including Amazon orders.”

Meanwhile he said Seabay International Freight Forwarding, a company that handles Chinese goods sold on platforms such as Amazon, also has 20 to 30 containers on the ships waiting to pass through the canal.

Although many companies have taken alternative routes to circumnavigate the blockage these have added on both time and cost, with Jinks quoting shipping broker Braemar ACM as saying that the cost of renting some vessels for voyages to and from Asia and the Middle East had jumped 47%.

Tom Fairbairn, distinguished engineer at Solace, said that up to 10% of the world’s shipping is still being delayed or diverted. “Global supply chains, with already stretched resources, have been faced with delays for the past six days. The damage has been done to the tune of perhaps up to $9.6bn a day. Over 18,000 containers still have no fixed delivery date.”

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