26.03.2021

Suez Canal blockage disrupts ocean freight

A large container ship has been stuck in the Suez Canal for the past three days. Efforts to dislodge the vessel are underway, but it is very likely that disruptions on maritime traffic between Asia and Europe will continue in the coming weeks. For shipments already on the move, a delay of at least 1-2 weeks of transit time is expected. At present, however, it is still unclear how far-reaching the effects will be.

An estimated 150-200 vessels are waiting to pass through the canal. When traffic on the canal resumes, the handling of containers in Europe’s major ocean ports will face further congestion. In the port of Rotterdam, for example, there have been delays in cargo handling in recent weeks due to industrial action at terminals.

At Varova we monitor the situation closely. We are preparing to do our best to get customs clearance and container handling running as smoothly as possible when shipments arrive in Finland.

Rail and air freight as alternative options

At present, Varova has to offer rail transport on several routes. For the most urgent deliveries, it is possible to find alternatives by air freight. If the closure of the Suez Canal takes longer, demand for air and rail freight is expected to increase, and congestion may also occur with these modes of transport.