Current Situation on Freight from Europe to Australia

Suez Canal

The Red Sea is a vital global trade waterway connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa. However, it is also a hotspot for geopolitical tensions, piracy, and armed attacks. In the past few weeks, several incidents have disrupted maritime traffic and raised security concerns in the area. The Suez canal – is being affected by the knock-on effects of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, with the Iranian-backed Houthis attacking more than a dozen vessels.

Source: Emerging World

  • • At the beginning of December, several attacks happened on both Navy vessels and commercial vessels in the Red Sea. This has evolved into targeted attacks on commercial Container carriers in the last week.
  • • On December 14th, Maersk Gibraltar, a Hong Kong-flagged Container vessel owned by Maersk, was involved in a near-miss missile attack in the Bab al-Mandab strait in the Red Sea.
  • • On December 15th, Al Jasrah, a Liberian-flagged Container vessel owned by Hapag Lloyd, was attacked and hit by a missile fired from Yemen in the Bab Al-Mandab strait. The vessel sustained damage on the port side, and at least one container fell overboard. No crew was reported injured in this incident.
  • • On December 15th, The MSC Alanya, a Liberian-flagged Container vessel owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company, was also involved in a near-miss missile attack.
  • • On December 15th. The MSC Palatium III, a Liberian-flagged Container vessel, sub chartered to Messina Line, was struck by a missile attack, causing limited fire damage. All crew members are reported safe, and the vessel has been removed from service.
These incidents have increased the risk of shipping in the region, and we have seen action taken by most of the world's largest container carriers to mitigate the risk for their employees and vessels operating in these waters.

Going Forward

This conflict will have massive implications on Global trade and at this time the vessels are paused and are awaiting news from carriers.

Most of the major shipping companies will either divert their ships away from the Red Sea or are considering re-routing them around the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Re-routing ships around the Cape of Good Hope adds about 40 per cent to the distance ships will have to travel, at an estimated additional cost of around $US1 million, mostly for the extra amount of fuel required. Insurance premiums have already blown out because of the increased risks and, for those diverting around the Cape of Good Hope there is the extra time and distance. The war-risk premiums for those braving the Red Sea route have leapt almost 1000 per cent.

It is anticipated that the freight time to Australia will add between 1 -2 weeks to the journey.

Source: The Washington Institute

Panama Canal - Freight from the USA to Australia

The Panama Canal, which handles about 5 per cent of world trade and is a key piece of infrastructure for trade between North America and Asia, has been hit by the worst drought in nearly three-quarters of a century – and has had to slash both the number and the draughts of vessels moving through its complex series of locks. This has resulted in fewer vessels and increase in costs.

Today, in a slowing global economy with more normal supply chains and shipping volumes, there will be time and costs added by the re-routing of ships and their cargoes, but the shortages of labour, goods and ships experienced during the pandemic that exacerbated the economic effects aren’t present.

That suggests the impacts of the effective closure of the Red Sea and Suez Canal to much of the world’s shipping are probably containable. But in such a volatile region, and in such volatile and unpredictable circumstances, it’s impossible to reach definitive conclusions.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

The full scope of implications is unclear, but we at KE-ZU will do our utmost to keep you updated on the situation as it unfolds and work with all customers and partners to provide the best solutions possible.


When you allow yourself not to be the same as everyone else, you allow yourself to explore new things and get out of your comfort zone. It enables you to turn dreams into reality whilst discovering endless possibilities.
Your uniqueness can contribute to the world and the environment that you inhabit. It highlights your originality and authenticity and makes you stand out in a world full of conformity.


Facebook      Instagram      Pinterest      Vimeo      LinkedIn