Suez Canal breakdown puts local import and export on edge

The Vietnamese government has been angling for solutions to help local goods reach their EU destinations after being held up by the historic shipping blunder at the Suez Canal.
suez canal breakdown puts local import and export on edge
The blockage in the Suez Canal is hampering Asian exporters and importers

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) recently announced that in case the Ever Given remains unmoved, ships will have to travel around the Cape of Good Hope, extending their journey from Asia to the EU by two weeks, significantly accumulating transport costs.

“Along with COVID-19, the incident has also increased shipping expenses, affecting export-import activities between Vietnam and the EU,” said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

As of now, the MoIT is directing the Vietnam Trade Office in Egypt to keep track of developments related to the Ever Given, and keep local importers and exporters updated.

“Cargo ships transporting goods to the EU and the East American coast had to bypass Africa, extending transport costs and time significantly,” said a representative of the Vietnam Maritime Administration.

Xuan Thinh Service JSC specialised in trading petroleum items said that it has not received overseas orders due to the incident. “For days now we could not supply dealers.”

The Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, on March 23 ran aground while travelling through the Suez Canal on the way from Asia to Europe, causing a blockage and hampering hundreds of cargo ships.

Vietnam stands to shoulder significant damage from the hold-up. In 2020, Vietnam’s export and import turnovers to the EU reached $43.7 billion and $18.5 billion, respectively. Over this year’s first two months, the corresponding figures were $7.5 billion and $3.1 billion, up 18 and 12 per cent, on-year.

According to Bloomberg, on March 29 the Ever Given was moved about 80 per cent back to the normal position, showing a degree of success in the rescue efforts. Nevertheless, fully dislodging the 200,000-tonne ship is still a big challenge for the rescue party.

Nguồn: Vietnam Investment Review

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