Category: Middle East

New Silk Road will link the Gulf to Europe

Turkey, Qatar, and the UAE are joining with Iraq to develop a new land corridor - Development Road Project - which will connect the Gulf to Europe. The Development Road Project is a multi-billion dollar land corridor that will stretch 750 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, e... Read more

State of the air freight market

The effective closure of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to container ships is adding around two weeks to supply chain transit times and creating a backlog of manufacturing components, late shipments and inventory replenishment, with critical consignments reliant on air solutions. While Iran's att... Read more

Red Sea crisis expanding and growing

After the longest period of attack-free shipping in the Red Sea since December, the situation in the region is escalating, with an increase in Houthi attacks, fears that the ‘danger area’ may be expanding into the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean and an Iranian vessel hijack off the Gulf of Oman.... Read more

Sea/Air growth undiminished

The latest air cargo data is showing a clear upswing in volumes at key sea/air hubs, as shippers from Asia seek to avoid the extended ocean freight transit that has resulted from the Red Sea shipping crisis. Over the first two months of the year, volumes to Europe from Dubai, Colombo and Bangk... Read more

General Red Sea Update

The US and UK carried out eight strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen on Monday, as the Iran-aligned armed group continues to target commercial shipping in the Red Sea, with no sign that the conflict will de-escalate anytime soon. While many hoped that the situation in the Red Sea might be a shor... Read more

Insurers withdraw war risk cover

Since December 2023, nearly 30 commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea have faced missile strikes or near misses from the Yemen-based Houthis, including container ships owned by Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM. As of last week, 550 container ships have been diverted away from the Suez Canal or are p... Read more

Economic impact of Suez Canal diversions

For the UK and Europe fears are growing that any prolonged denial of access to the Suez Canal could impact faltering economies and derail plans to start cutting interest rates later this year. Despite the confidence of European and UK central banks, uncertainties about the Red Sea crisis' impa... Read more

Red Sea Crisis; Situation Report, Wednesday 17th Jan

Despite coalition military action, Houthi rebels continue to attack commercial shipping and with container shipping line’ schedules showing Cape of Good Hope routing for vessels into early February and beyond, it is clear that they do not expect short-term access through the Suez Canal and Red ... Read more

The real impact of diverting ships round Africa

Following the sharp escalation of attacks on container ships in the Bab-al-Mandeb strait off the coast of Yemen last week, major container shipping lines are diverting vessels around the southern tip of Africa, rendering the Suez routing unavailable for an unknown period. With the Suez route c... Read more

Sea freight shippers opt for air and sea/air alternatives

With the container shipping lines diverting around Africa until the Red Sea maritime security situation improves, the uncertainty and unpredictability that surrounds schedules could fuel demand for air cargo as shippers seek stability of services and certainty of transit times. Air cargo deman... Read more

Metro’s new LCL guru

With over 20 years' experience in freight and logistics, the majority of which has been in the ocean freight environment and specifically the LCL product, in the UK and overseas, we are pleased to introduce our new Senior LCL Commercial Manager, Jane Kenny, who is leading this critical service ar... Read more

2nd January; Suez Crisis Update

In our 2023 supply chain review we said that we were hopeful that the formation of a coalition naval task force to patrol the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden would restore maritime security quickly, but Sunday’s two attacks on the Maersk Hangzhou suggest it could be some time before the route... Read more