May 8th 2024



Disturbances in container transport through the Red Sea are increasing. By diverting traffic from the Suez Canal, Maersk has estimated that the container industry’s capacity between Asia and Northern Europe and the Mediterranean will be reduced by between 15 and 20 per cent in the second quarter.

The news was reported by Reuters, which also indicated that Maersk’s fuel costs on the affected routes between Asia and Europe are now 40 per cent higher per voyage. ‘The risk zone has expanded and the attacks are moving further away from the coast’, forcing ships to make longer voyages, extending the time and creating additional costs to cargo to destination.

Alternatively, the company has been diverting ships around the Cape of Good Hope since December. According to Maersk’s forecasts, disruptions should continue until at least the end of this year.

Portuguese textile companies are being impacted in their business transactions by the conflicts in the Middle East. Among them is Lipaco: ‘This conflict affects us both in terms of delays in the arrival of raw materials (with significant delays) from Asia, since the current shipping routes are significantly longer, and also in terms of their costs,’ says Jorge Pereira, CEO, to T Jornal. ‘We had to immediately turn to other origins, sometimes closer, to cover the delays and had to reconsider buying raw materials from other origins that don’t use the same routes,’ he adds.

Paulo Melo, CEO of Somelos, points out that ‘since 7th October 2023, the uncertainty that already existed in international markets has increased, which has led the world’s main brands to reduce their usual order quantities, further accentuating the commercial challenge’. In terms of transport, the director guarantees that they have not yet been affected, pointing to the origin of the raw materials as one of the reasons. ‘Our main raw materials come from Europe, and our main exports there are by air,’ he explained to T Jornal.