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The most recent event in the maritime sector that affected the supply chain was what happened in the Suez Canal by the Ever Given ship, from the Evergreen shipping company, affecting world trade, since it is estimated that 12% of the total trade.
But it is not the only situation that has been faced, according to CH Robinson in recent months there has been a loss of just over 3,000 containers at sea, compared to 2018 and 2019 on average 1,382 containers were recorded based on the data from The World Shipping .
Based on a document shared by CH Robinson, there are some elements to prevent maritime accidents.
“Although they are unplanned and generally unpredictable, there are steps you can take prior to shipping to anticipate the scenario in which you receive news that your cargo was involved in an accident,” shared Sri Laxmana, Vice President of global ocean products from CH Robinson.
From the manager’s perspective, these are the issues that need to be addressed to protect supply chains.
- Have a backup plan to deal with delays.
For starters, even if your cargo is not lost at sea, you are likely to experience significant delays. For example, a recent maritime accident in December 2020 caused your freight to be held in Japan. In this case, each container (which has not been damaged or lost at sea) must be unloaded and transshipped to another ship for transfer. Accessing unaffected containers can also take time, as damaged containers may need to be unloaded and inspected first.
- Consider purchasing marine insurance.
One of the ways to help protect your business financially is through marine insurance. Cargo insurance is not a requirement, but since events such as boat accidents are generally outside the responsibility of carriers, insurance can provide additional protection for your cargo. With a cargo insurance policy, you are covered for unexpected losses.
- Develop a resilient supply chain strategy.
Unfortunately, the insurance only applies to the value of the lost freight. It can’t help you overcome delays, transport cargo, or rush new orders to realign your inventory levels and ensure the right stock is where it’s needed most. That’s where supply chain resilience comes in. Instead of waiting until you are affected by a boating accident, now is the time to develop a plan that helps you minimize the impact on your business and allows you to continue serving your customers.
“Recently, a client was affected by a boat accident. While his cargo was undamaged, it was delayed. Unfortunately, equipment shortages and capacity limitations almost prevented replacement stocks from arriving on time. Through quick communications with our local team in South Asia and thanks to our extensive relationships with global carriers, we successfully secured the space and containers they needed. But that was only the first hurdle. The original destination port had heavy congestion and vessel dwell times, so our team moved to a different port and was able to save 20 days off transit time.
For the vice president of global ocean products at CH Robinson, the increase in capacity and size of container ships is combined with the high demand for services, so there is a greater number of vessels that could be a risk in the face of natural events, therefore that it is important to attend to the previous considerations.