The continuing conflicts in the Middle East are set to have substantial impacts on Brazil’s logistics, as industry analysts predict repercussions starting in February. Disruptions in global shipping lanes are causing apprehensions in Brazil, including worries about escalating freight rates, delays in vessel arrivals, and an imminent shortage of containers.
The crisis, initiated by Houthi rebels attacking ships in the Red Sea, has directly affected access to the Suez Canal. Shipping companies are rerouting vessels destined for Europe and the United States through a longer and costlier alternative route via southern Africa. While Brazil has experienced minimal impact thus far, experts anticipate a surge in the coming weeks, primarily on routes from Asia. Currently, 25-30 percent of Asian imports to Brazil pass through Europe and the Suez Canal.
Market sources report import freight from China to Brazil at around $3,500 per container, higher than 2023 but below pandemic peaks. Analysts project heightened impact in the near future, attributing it to increased prices on the Asia-Europe route and delays caused by the longer alternative path.
The shortage of containers further complicates matters, with expectations of extended transit times. As the crisis unfolds, Brazil braces for both economic and operational challenges, with the effects expected to materialise in the coming months.