Companies Consider Alternative Routes, Assess Costs as Suez Canal Blockage Continues
European and international companies are bracing for possible rising costs and growing supply-chain complications as the blockage of the Suez Canal heads into a fourth day amid signs of still longer backlogs.
Retail and manufacturing importers are watching for delays in their supply chains that already are strained by global disruptions, and some are considering alternative routes, including sending goods using pricier airfreight or on ships sailing around Africa, which could stretch out deliveries by as long as two weeks.
“We are keeping an eye on the situation,” a spokesman for Dutch brewing giant Heineken NV said, adding that a few of the company’s containers are delayed. “We feel comfortable for now with the contingencies we have in place,” the spokesman said.
Shipping companies with vessels idling in or near the Suez Canal are considering taking a detour around Africa. The Cape of Good Hope route is considerably longer and burns more fuel, making it less popular than the Suez Canal option.
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