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Global Supply Chain Issues

The attacks on shipping passing down the Red Sea after the Suez Canal have started to have an adverse effect on supply chains and costs to/from Europe. Even the Chinese Freight Forwarders have noted that their shipping to Africa’s East coast has been affected. UNCTAD says in a new report released on 22 February that the Red Sea crisis compounds the ongoing disruptions in the Black Sea due to the war in Ukraine. Both conflicts have resulted in shifts in oil and grain trade routes and altered established patterns. Additionally, the Panama Canal, a critical artery linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is confronting a separate challenge. Dwindling water levels have raised concerns about the long-term resilience of global supply chains, underscoring the fragility of the world’s trade infrastructure. With major players in the shipping industry temporarily suspending Suez Canal transits, weekly container ship transits have fallen by a staggering 67%. Meanwhile, total transits through the Panama Canal plummeted by 49% compared to its peak. These changes to global shipping patterns impact on ecommerce in Africa by increasing costs both of imports and exports.

Alastair Tempest

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