The Ever Given’s blockage of the Suez Canal is set to cost traders a total of £4.35 billion as experts warn ecommerce retailers will feel the effects for months to come.
The 400-metre-long container ship was successfully refloated yesterday after running aground nearly a week ago, freeing around 18,300 containers full of goods and opening up one of the world’s busiest trade routes.
Despite the canal, which sees around 12 per cent of global trade pass through it every day, being open once more experts have warned that the impact of the monumental traffic jam is far from over.
According to ParcelHero’s head of consumer research David Jinks, ecommerce retailers like Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba will be hardest hit by the knock-on delays, seeing many customers forced to wait over a week for deliveries.
“A total of 367 vessels were waiting to pass through, and officials have said it will take at least three and a half days to clear the traffic jam,” Jinks, who is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the former editor of Lloyds Shipping Index, said.
“Many of the container ships delayed, including the Ever Given herself, are carrying e-commerce 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.”
While many customers are set to be hit with delays as logjammed ships decided to reroute around Horn of Africa, Jinks warns it could have a much wider impact on global trade costing companies billions.
He added: “It’s a bigger problem than just delays for internet shoppers, however; the German insurer Allianz says the canal’s closure could reduce annual trade growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points. It estimates the blockage could cost global trade $6 billion to $10 billion a week.
Yesterday it was reported that Ikea and Dixons Carphone are among retailers with goods stuck on the Ever Given.
Ikea had around 110 containers on board the ship, and is looking into whether more of its products are delayed on other vessels waiting to enter the channel.
Meanwhile, Dixons Carphone said it had goods stuck on the Ever Given, while 134 containers of PPE including gloves and masks bound for the NHS are also stuck on nine ships waiting behind the blockage.