VIEW: Global supply chain losses “unquantifiable and unsustainable”

The global supply chain has several vulnerable spots and is currently creaking under the pressure of high demand. Continued container shortages, port delays, congestion, increased freight costs, logistics equipment in the wrong place, and a lack of haulage options has ultimately resulted in delays being widely reported.

The issue for cargo-owners is what the delays will mean for their business. As we’ve already seen following the Ever Given’s grounding in the Suez Canal, many of these ships contain perishable goods; delays ultimately mean that those goods are compromised or even worthless upon arrival at their destination. The bad news for many owners is that ‘delay’ is commonly excluded within their marine insurance. This could mean that the industry could experience significant financial losses as a result of the delays within the supply chain. Losses that are unquantifiable and ultimately unsustainable.

The solution to this issue is not clear either. Encouraging more HGV drivers has been a key focal point as of recently, but there are other challenges that require addressing too. The first is the definitive shortage of container ships and bulk carriers. This issue won’t be solved overnight, with most shipping firms waiting for up to 12 months to see new container vessels in circulation. The short supply of both types of vessels has meant freight rates have skyrocketed by up to five times pre-pandemic levels.

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