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Suez and Panama blockades, conflicts, and rising tariffs in the mediterranean

The recent blockades of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal, combined with the increase in maritime tariffs in the Mediterranean, are creating a domino effect of delays, rising costs, and shortages of raw materials that are disrupting international trade.

Consequences of the Panama Canal blockage:

  • Due to technical issues, the Panama Canal has experienced several interruptions in recent months, limiting the passage of cargo ships and containers.
  • Ships have been forced to take alternative routes, extending delivery times and increasing fuel and toll costs.
  • The delays have had a significant impact on global supply chains, with repercussions on various industrial sectors, including automotive, electronics, and agriculture.

Consequences of the Suez Canal blockage:

  • The blockade of the Suez Canal due to a stranded ship in March 2023 created a congestion of hundreds of ships, with delays estimated up to two weeks.
  • The blockade had a significant impact on the price of oil and other raw materials transported by sea.
  • Tensions between Israel and Palestine, with the risk of new conflicts, are creating uncertainty about the security of the Suez Canal, with possible further delays and cost increases.

Increase in maritime tariffs in the Mediterranean:

  • • The increase in maritime tariffs in the Mediterranean, due to the rise in fuel costs and the risk of piracy, is making commercial routes more expensive.
  • This is leading to a decrease in the number of ships docking in Italy, negatively impacting the Italian economy.
  • The increase in transport costs is affecting the prices of goods, with inflation potentially rising further.

Main alternative commercial maritime routes:

  • The main alternative commercial maritime routes to the Suez and Panama Canals are:
    • The Cape of Good Hope route, which circumnavigates Africa;
    • The Red Sea route, passing through the Suez Canal;
    • The North Atlantic route, passing through the Arctic Sea.

These alternative routes are longer and more costly, negatively impacting the environment and the competitiveness of companies.

Implications for international container transport:

  • • The blockage of the Suez and Panama canals and the increase in maritime tariffs are creating a domino effect of delays and rising costs in international container transport.
  • This is leading to shortages of raw materials and consumer goods, negatively impacting the global economy.
  • Companies are trying to diversify their transport routes and increase their inventory stocks to mitigate risks.

The current situation in international trade is expected to last for several months, significantly impacting the global economy.

Solutions must be found to make international trade more resilient to different types of events. Diversifying trade routes, using digital technologies, and international collaboration are some of the possible ways to address future challenges.

The increase in container prices has recorded an increase of up to 25%, but to date, it is being absorbed.

Transport from China to Europe by rail costs approximately 7,900 USD per container, compared to 6,507 USD for maritime transport, confirming the convenience of container transport by sea despite recent increases.

It should be noted that Mexico has surpassed China as the main exporter to the USA, reflecting a change in trade flows. This is supported by an almost 5% increase in imports from the USA from Mexico, reaching over 475 billion dollars.

In 2024, the delivery of 478 container ships with a combined capacity of 3.1 million TEU is expected, marking an increase of 41% compared to the previous record. Thanks to its shipyards, China has benefited from most of the orders, delivering nearly 55% of all ship capacity in 2023 and 2024.

The chaos in maritime traffic is creating a challenging context for the global economy.

Companies and governments must work together to find innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure the safety and efficiency of international trade.

Sogese offers new and used containers at the best market prices at its depots:

  1. Request the price for new containers
  2. Request the price for used containers

You will find containers ready for delivery of any size and for any use, contact us without obligation.

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