Alex Veitch, General Manager for Public Policy at Logistics UK, the business group representing the sector, said in response to the freeing of the EverGiven today (29 March 2021):
“News that the stranded cargo vessel, the EverGiven, has finally been refloated and is no longer blocking the Suez Canal is excellent news for global supply chains. However, with more than 300 ships stuck behind the ship waiting to travel through the canal, the impact of the incident will continue to be felt around the world for some weeks.
“Any delay to deliveries from the Far East will mean delays in picking up goods from UK ports for export, as well as slowing down deliveries into the UK’s supply chain. Goods affected by the delays will include seasonal stock for UK retailers, so gaps may start to appear unless the situation is resolved quickly.
“It is now vitally important to clear the “traffic jam” of ships delayed in the Canal as quickly as possible, to restart the supply chain and minimise any disruption. However, the clearance of so many ships at one time could cause congestion at ports along the supply chain, with a resultant slowdown in port productivity.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.