Following the widely reported attacks by Houthi rebels on shipping in the Red Sea, most major shipping lines have decided to reroute vessels around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa rather than using the Suez Canal.

In addition to disrupting world trade this is also affecting international removals and the shipment of personal effects. The longer route takes around an additional 10-14 days and results in increased costs for fuel, staff and other operational expenses which may be passed on to customers.

You can read more about the situation here: BBC: What do Red Sea assaults mean for global trade?

How may this effect your shipment?

PSS International Removals are in regular contact with the shipping lines and will be able to update customers on any impact the situation may have on your particular shipment.

The good news is that whilst there is some disruption, shipping to all destinations is continuing and we are working with shipping lines to ensure the impact is reduced as much as possible.

Destinations affected

Shipments to Asia and Oceania, including the UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, are most obviously affected.

However, due to the interconnected nature of international shipping (including the supply of vessels and containers), it is also resulting in delays and increased costs for other destinations such as the USA and Canada.

This adds to the existing delays and reduced capacity on the Panama Canal due to low water levels caused by drought.

Increased transit times

Customers should allow an additional 2 weeks for most shipments to reach the destination port, but this could be more for some destinations.

Your appointed destination agent will update you on the expected arrival time and will contact you once your shipment has cleared customs to arrange delivery as usual.

Increase in sea freight rates

The extra distance and costs incurred are resulting in an increase in sea freight rates for many destinations.

New shipping estimates will take this into account, and your Account Manager will inform you if your existing shipment estimate has changed.

Delays in booking and loading containers

One of the effects of disruption to shipping is that the shipping lines require more notice to confirm bookings.

We, therefore, advise customers to plan and book their move with as much advance warning as possible so we can reserve you a shipping container and do our best to ensure you get your preferred move date.