The blockage of the Suez Canal has caused disruption to global supply chains, the full extent of which is still unknown. Charter specialist Air Partner believes that a number of forwarders may turn to airfreight services to overcome potential delays.

Mike Hill, senior vice president Asia Pacific at Air Partner, said: “While Air Partner is not feeling an immediate ‘Suez effect’, looking ahead, resultant disruption to global supply chains could still be felt for months to come.”

For example, vessels that rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope have added significant time to their journeys, while delays already incurred from vessels waiting in the Suez area will affect future capacity. Hill commented that this could increase the amount of cargo moving from sea to air.

He noted that there has already been a marked shift over the last months due to ongoing sea freight problems as a result of pandemic-related major disruption. “Sea freight capacity currently requires around three-four weeks advanced booking time,” he said, adding that airfreight is becoming “an even more attractive option for some exporters”.