After the Red Sea assaults, Ikea issues a product delay warning

According to the furniture behemoth Ikea, product shipments may be delayed as a result of rebel assaults on vessels traversing the vital Red Sea trade route.

Numerous companies have suspended shipments along the route subsequent to the vessel incursions carried out by Houthi militants in Yemen. It has prolonged the journeys of several companies by compelling them to reroute cargo around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. However, a prominent shipping company asserted that the disruption would not result in empty store shelves.

The frequency of vessel attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen has increased since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October.

Rebels supported by Iran have targeted foreign-owned vessels transporting goods through the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Suez Canal with rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles. "The situation in the Suez Canal will cause delays and potentially restrict the availability of specific Ikea products," stated an Ikea spokesperson.

They further stated that the company was exploring alternative strategies to guarantee the availability of its products to customers.

Circulating the Cape of Good Hope along the alternate shipping route increases the voyage by approximately 3,500 nautical miles and duration by approximately 10 days.

Project 44, a research firm specialising in supply chains, has predicted that stock-outs may commence in February.

The British Retail Consortium's director of food and sustainability, Andrew Opie, told the sources that the current crisis would not affect the holiday season because the products in question are already in the United Kingdom. However, he cautioned, "Some goods may take longer to ship in the long run due to their longer route." Additionally, extended voyages will result in escalated shipping expenses, potentially influencing the prices that customers are required to pay.

Xeneta, a shipping analyst firm, estimates that each voyage between Asia and Northern Europe could incur an additional $1 million (£790,000). "This expense will ultimately be passed on to consumers purchasing the products," said Xeneta's principal analyst, Peter Sand. He added, however, that transport expenses comprised a negligible portion of the total cost of the majority of products, so he did not anticipate a "massive increase" in prices for consumers.

Mr. Haupt stated that the level of disruption was not as severe as that which was witnessed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. "Although it is difficult, it will not result in vacant shelves in the stores," he explained. The region is also being closely monitored by other brands.

Electrolux and their carriers have formed a task force to examine a variety of measures, such as "re-routing, identifying extra-time-sensitive deliveries, and locating alternative routes, if necessary." It anticipated that any repercussions on deliveries would be minimal.

Danone, a dairy giant, informed the sources that it and its partners and suppliers were actively monitoring the situation.

The United States has initiated a global naval operation to safeguard vessels traversing the Red Sea route in response to the attacks; additional participants include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Bahrain, Norway, and Spain.

Although shipping companies have expressed their approval of the initiatives, they are unable to ascertain when it will be safe to recommence operations on the Red Sea, potentially prolonging the disruption.