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Industry

Problems in the Red Sea impact print

Flint Group has commented on the escalating impact caused by shipping delays in the Middle East

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Flint Group has commented on the challenges created by problems in the Red Sea-Suez Canal

Supplier of inks and coatings to the print and packaging industries, Flint Group, has commented on the continuing issues across trade routes in the Middle East which are affecting the costs and delivery of goods within the industry.

Flint Group recommends customers proactively plan stock levels in anticipation of increased lead times caused by current global issues. 

Attacks and unrest in the Middle East have meant growing concerns in regard to substantial increases in the costs of sea freight containers and their availability.

Many sea freight carriers have introduced surcharges due to the requirement for vessels to re-route via the Cape of Good Hope instead of using the Rea Sea-Suez Canal. 

Doug Aldred, chief commercial officer at Flint Group, says: “Consistent with many businesses, our global supply chain, transit times, and costs have been impacted by developments in the Red Sea. 

"The redirection of sea freight around the Cape of Good Hope, bypassing the Red Sea-Suez Canal route, is anticipated to lead to extended transit times, ranging from two to six weeks. These changes also affect other sea freight routes, notably transatlantic crossings, due to the limited availability of containers and ships.”


Flint Group says the situation has meant it will continue to evaluate costs carefully and evaluate the implementation of freight surcharges, where relevant. 

Arno de Groot, vice president of Procurement at Flint Group, explains: “As a consequence of the reduction in the number of ships docking at Red Sea and Mediterranean ports, additional freight handling via 'feeder trans-shipments’ have been necessary. 

“This process involves collecting containers from smaller ports and transporting them to hubs for loading onto larger vessels, resulting in extensions to transit times of up to 28 days. Finally, due to uncertain vessel schedules, ports elsewhere across the globe may encounter congestion."

De Groot says Flint Group’s Procurement and Customer Service teams are working to mitigate the impact by tracking incoming materials, reviewing stock levels, and adjusting transportation methods to ‘recover’ delays. 

“Our top priority is to ensure customers have the inks and coatings required to run their sites smoothly,” says de Groot, concluding: “We will update our customers as the situation evolves and continue to do everything we can to minimise any adverse impacts.”

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