Shipping lines considering Cape surcharge for re-routed ships

Shipping lines were reported by The Loadstar to be considering the introduction of a Cape surcharge for vessels that have to be re-routed around the Cape of Good Hope. The surcharge would be to recover the extra cost of bunker fuel consumed in the additional seven to 10-day transit.

The blocking of the Suez Canal by ULCV Ever Given had added even more pressure to already stressed supply chains, analysts and industry sources said. An increase in rates was most likely over the next week. Even after the blockage is cleared, congestion elsewhere would be inevitable because many vessels would be arriving at their destinations at the same time as other vessels that had come through the Canal.

The Suez Canal blockage will also impact services from Asia to the US, with shippers keen to book spaces on those loops. Jon Monroe, of Washington state-based Jon Monroe Consulting, told The Loadstar that “demand continues to surge as we move into the final weeks of the contract season. Normally carriers have initiated blank sailings at this time of year, but this year no need; space is at a premium and now everyone will pay for it”.

Ships in the Red Sea will be rerouted only if there is an extended delay in unblocking the Suez Canal, according to Randy Giveans, senior vice president of equity research for energy maritime at Jefferies LLC. So far, only ships outside the Red Sea that were hoping to use the canal are rerouting around the Cape of Good Hope. For vessels already in the area, it would only make a difference if the canal outage was certain to be over two weeks, since that’s how much additional time they would need to get around the Cape.