Suez Canal crisis: UK shoppers face price hikes on cars and clothes as ship still stuck
No10 has said the incident may cause exports to the UK to be delayed and analysts have warned shoppers could be expected to meet the increased cost imposed on companies. On Thursday officials in the busy shipping route stopped all vessels entering in a major setback for global trade.
The 400 metre-long Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, has been lodged diagonally in the channel like a “beached whale” for two days and holding up copious amounts of goods including oil, refined fuels and household items.
Consumers in the UK are set to be directly affected by the blockage as trade data shows exports from Asia destined for Britain are likely to be hit.
Items of furniture, clothing, footwear and homeware could be among the items carrying higher price tags when they eventually reach shelves in British shops.
Asian nations account for seven out of the top 10 exporters of electrical goods to Britain.
Britons planning on splashing out on a new motor could be affected, according to Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
He told the MailOnline that a long-term blockage of the Suez Canal is likely to cause a shortage on the market of computer chips.
This could cause price jumps in products which use a lot of chips including cars.
Drivers could see an extra £70 added to their bill when purchasing a new car.
The ship got stuck in the single-lane southern stretch of the canal on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a dust storm.
Peter Berdowski, CEO of Dutch company Boskalis, one of two rescue teams trying to free the ship, was among the analysts to warn of potential lengthy delays to traffic.
He told the Dutch television programme Nieuwsuur: “We can’t exclude it might take weeks, depending on the situation.”
So far, more than 200 large container ships, tankers carrying oil and gas, and bulk vessels hauling grain have backed up at either end of the canal, according to tracking data, creating one of the worst shipping jams seen for years.
The backlog is set to increase dramatically on Friday as additional ships join the jam.
The Berdowski said: “It is like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand.
“We might have to work with a combination of reducing the weight by removing containers, oil and water from the ship, tug boats and dredging of sand.”
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