Precarious passage: Red Sea ship attacks strain supply chains


83. Precarious passage: Red Sea ship attacks strain supply chains

This episode of The Weekly Tradecast looks at the impact on shipping, supply chains and trade from insecurity in the Red Sea with Jan Hoffmann, head of UNCTAD's trade logistics branch.

About 80% of the world’s goods move by sea. But escalating attacks by Houthi rebels on ships passing through the narrow waters towards the Suez Canal have disrupted shipping routes and raised geopolitical tensions.  

Red Sea shipping lanes carry around 15% of global trade but many ships have been diverted. UNCTAD estimates the trade volume going through the Suez Canal fell 42% over the last two months.

Without the Red Sea shortcut, longer routes between Asia and Europe add significant time and cost to shipments. That's fuelling fears of more shocks to the economy – with inflation still high and supply chains still shaky after disruptions during the pandemic. 

Tune in to UNCTAD's Jan Hoffmann to find out more about the Red Sea disruptions and other threats to maritime trade from clogged shipping lanes and climate change.