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Supply chain risks from the Israel-Hamas conflict

09.09am 20 December 2023

Attempted attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea have led to some of the world’s major shipping lines suspending passage through the area.

If the conflict were to escalate, it is possible that key sea freight routes such as the Suez Canal could be disrupted, and cause shipping delays for New Zealand traders.

This could have a domino effect of higher costs, slower processing at ports, and the need to arrange new paperwork for goods that are diverted to other markets. All of this would happen on top of existing global shipping pressures. Some sea freight from New Zealand to Europe is already experiencing delays because it transits the Panama Canal, which is operating at reduced capacity due to low water levels.

Customs remains in close contact with our government partners to monitor the situation and keep exporters/importers updated as required.