Red Sea Attacks - Mitigating The Risks


From mid-December shipping companies started to avoid the Gulf of Aden and Bab al Mandeb Sea strait (30 km), which is the entrance to the Red Sea and the route to the Suez Canal due to the actions of the Houthi rebels in targeting shipping containers.  Ships are being rerouted around The Cape of Good Hope and an extra 3000 miles added to the route to the UK with the possibility of an 8-to-20-day delay.  We are currently seeing an average of 14 days delay.  Further delays are anticipated due to the Chinese New Year.

At present, there appears to be no clear timeline when security will be assured in the area to allow carriers to resume transiting the Suez Canal. 

Daily communication with our logistics suppliers suggests that the longer issues remain the more problems it may create with the potential for port congestion as well as an extension to the time required for turn-around trips and connected journeys. This could lead to mismatches between supply and demand and imbalances in the availability of vessels, personnel, and empty containers.  This will likely impact most of the first quarter and potentially the second quarter as well and we are already seeing an impact on the cost of shipment from the Far East to the UK.

As a consequence, we wanted to inform you how The Ashton Group is mitigating the risks to our customers and minimize any disruption within our Global supply chains.  This is our priority.

We are ordering parts well in advance of usual lead times and we encourage our customers to do the same.
We are increasing our stock levels of standard parts as well as gasket materials to try and ensure we have good availability.

We are advising all customers to talk to us as soon as possible should an issue be identified with our extended lead-times as we have options regarding Air Freight and European supply that could provide a solution