Easyfresh summarized views about 2024 & the expected bottle-necks
The construction of the Suez and Panama canals substantially impacted global trade, mainly over two factors. The first and most obvious concern is the reduction of travel distances between regions of the world. The second relates to the introduction of the steamship during the same time period, which was able to use more direct routes at a faster and more consistent speed, compounding the gains from shorter travel distances.
What is happening now ?
1) Panama ; draught and subsequent transit restrictions remain.
2) Red Sea & Yemen attacks : Cheap drones launched by the Houthis are being “successful”. Now Iran prepares its first drone carrier, a converted containership.The deviation Asia-Europe route may take longer than expected, while the Middle East armed conflict goes on. More complexity is added in the region: (e.g. Ethiopia deal with Somaliland while Somalia considers Somaliland an integral part of its territory and the accord has infuriated its government.
3) Black Sea : Russia and Ukraine conflict persists.
4) Far East : Territorial disputes in South China Sea (results in recent Taiwanese recent elections may lead to an escalation).
Experts prognose disruptions for months, given the complex political situation, influencing charter rates & seafreights (compensating the excess capacity in certain maritime markets, e.g. liner trades). Nevertheless the situation is only partly comparable to the post-pandemic outlook. Governments stimulus are not as high and demand is still rather stable, though effective capacity supply is clearly being reduced given longer transit times as a consequence of cited disruptions.
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