Interruptions in the Supply Chain are frequently occurring, yet some of them can have long-lasting and severe impacts on product availability. The current blockage of the Suez Canal by one vessel, the Ever Given, to drift sideways and get stuck is one of those.
The Suez Canal is an important vessel trade lane that enables fast connections between Europe, Middle East, India and Asia. Alternatives are limited to sailing around the Southern tip of Africa, adding a large amount of transit days to the overall journey. In todays world of limited stock keeping and manufacturing to order where possible, these types of occurrences immediately impact the supply chain and availability of product to market. Not only for the duration of the Suez Canal being blocked but expectedly long after that. This is caused by the limited throughput capacity of the canal in combination with the high amount of vessels waiting to pass through the canal on both sides. To make matters even worse, a part of the Suez Canal is one way traffic only.
Understanding the potential implications to our customers immediately after this occurrence was reported, OIA Global 4PL put a Suez Canal Taskforce in place that since has been working on providing visibility to our customers on vessels delayed by this occurrence and its locations being either anchored waiting for passage or re-routed. In close coordination with carriers and active use of multiple data sources, revised estimated arrival dates are being calculated and communicated. This is a very challenging process as the delay for canal passage will not be the only challenge. It will be followed by delays in ports for unloading where after a short period of low-activity caused by this blockage a period of high-activity will follow. Congestion at ports for berthing and unloading will most certainly occur and lead to more delays until freight becomes available for pickup and delivery.
OIA Global 4PL is actively involved in obtaining data from multiple sources to get a best possible picture of the situation, consolidating this in our OIA Connect cloud-based online collaboration platform and providing real-time visibility to our customers. It is what you should be able to expect from your 4PL providers. OIA Global 4PL delivers Operational Excellence all the way !