How Will The Suez Canal Blockage Affect Cotswold Company Customers?


Friday 16th April Suez Canal Update from Alan Joseph, The Cotswold Company Operations Director: Although none of our furniture was on the Ever Given container ship that was wedged sideways in the Suez Canal, we are still expecting delays of around two weeks on affected orders. To find out how your furniture delivery might be impacted, we caught up with The Cotswold Company Operations Director, Alan Joseph… 

Nearly three weeks after the Suez Canal blockage, what is happening to the Ever Given container ship now?

After being towed out of the way, inspected and repaired, the Ever Given is still not able to resume its journey to EuropeIn fact, the vessel has been seized by the Egyptian authorities, who are pursuing substantial damages from the Japanese owners who lease the vessel.  

The situation is further complicated with the owners effectively ‘writing off’ the Ever Given and its cargo. Stock owners are now having to approach loss adjustors to ‘buy back’ their cargo with little or no idea on if/ when they will be in possession of it again. 

Was any Cotswold Company furniture on the container ships that redirected the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope?

Yes, 27 vessels bound for Europe with a few hundred pieces of our furniture on board didn’t wait in the queue behind the Ever Given and rerouted the long way round. These products are scheduled to dock in the UK a couple of weeks later than planned. Our website lead times reflect any delays and affected customers were informed early on. 

Could the Suez Canal blockage impact Cotswold Company furniture deliveries long term?

“The remaining risk is that ships re-route and bypass the UK, but through close contact with the Nation’s port operators and shipping lines, we can stay on top of the latest intelligence to keep customers up to date.”

Will these unexpected increased freight costs impact Cotswold Company prices?

There has also been a big increase in short term shipping prices as capacity restrictions affect supply and demand, but we have stuck with our existing pricing approach and decided not pass on these extra costs so that we can continue to offer customers excellent value.” 

When can you foresee normal service resuming?

Whilst it will certainly take months for the market to return to normal, we are confident that our long-term supply chain partnerships and our approach to communicating realistic delivery times will limit uncertainty for our customers.” 

If you require any additional information, please visit the Contact Us page to get in touch.

Monday 29th March Suez Canal Update from Alan Joseph, The Cotswold Company Operations Director:

Although finally freed, the giant 200,000 tonne Ever Given container ship (operated by Evergreen Marine) that was wedged sideways in the Suez Canal in Egypt, will still cause havoc to global supply chains six days on from running aground and completely blocking the waterway. 

With around 12% of the world’s shipping traffic moving through the 120mile route, the backlog of queuing ships could take weeks to pass through. To find out how your furniture orders might be affected, we caught up with The Cotswold Company Operations Director, Alan Joseph…

How does the blocked Suez Canal affect Cotswold Company customers?

“The disruption to global shipping will be felt by all of us as consumers for a while. For Cotswold Company customers, it will affect the supply of the materials we are supplied from our workshops in Indonesia, Malaysia, China or Vietnam.

Any customers who have ordered products arriving between mid-April and May will likely experience delays of an additional 2-3 weeks as there are nearly 400 ships with products queuing to get through the canal one at a time. Like any traffic jam, it will take a while for those waiting to get through and we expect to see congestion at UK ports a couple of weeks later as multiple ships arrive all at the same time.”

Is there any Cotswold Company furniture on the Ever Given?

“We do not have any cargo on the Ever Given, but we do have materials on vessels anchored in the Red Sea behind it, as well as ships already diverted and taking the alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa which can take two weeks longer.”

Will Cotswold Company orders likely be delayed because of the Suez Canal blockage?

“We can see which goods already made it through the canal and into the Mediterranean over the last two weeks, but orders placed for delivery between mid-April and end of May will likely be delayed by two weeks.”

If my order is going to be delayed, will The Cotswold Company contact me?

“Yes, we will be contacting everyone affected this week, at least by email, with our best estimates of when we expect your orders to be with you.”

Which products are not affected?

“Our upholstery and mattresses that are made in the UK are all largely unaffected, along with anything displaying as ‘in stock’ or ‘due in 3 weeks’ on the website.”

Do delivery lead times on the website reflect potential delays?

“We are committed to being transparent with our customers and our website reflects our best understanding of delivery lead times. We have already added two weeks to the lead times of products that are sold and on containers in the backlog.

Currently, it’s difficult to confirm arrival dates for the backlog of vessels to move through the Suez Canal as well as allow for queuing time for berthing slots at UK ports when they get here, but we aim to communicate any expected delays to you as soon as we have more information.”

If you require any additional information, please visit the Contact Us page to get in touch.

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