Ships diverted from Suez Canal in latest supply chain disruption

Major supply chain disruption is facing the fastener and tool supply chain once again with diversions to avoid the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aden in the wake of drone and missile attacks.

Over 100 container ships have reportedly already been diverted away from the major shipping route, adding weeks on container ship journeys from Asia to Europe. Oil giant BP is among the major companies pausing shipments through the Red Sea, while container companies like Maersk are diverting journeys to the likes of Rotterdam via the Cape of Good Hope.

This latest disruption comes at a time when inventories of fastener importers and distributors are generally thought to be at a higher level, so the effects of this latest news remains to be seen. Although a long term crisis will clearly have a wider effect on the industry. 

The avoidance of the Suez Canal comes not long after previous major supply chain disruption due to Covid, when it struggled to keep up with demand largely generated over lockdown. Container prices rocketed - an eventuality that looms again - and the topic of reshoring or onshoring was also broadly discussed - also a conversation that seems likely to return to the market.