Why Are Car Shipping Prices Increasing? Red Sea Conflict Influence

The once-tranquil waters of the Red Sea are now churning with uncertainty, and the ripples are reaching car dealerships and consumers across the globe. The ongoing conflict in the region, particularly around the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, has triggered a significant spike in car shipping prices, leaving the automotive industry and car buyers facing a costly detour.

Red Sea Conflict

The Red Sea serves as a vital artery for global trade, with a large chunk of car shipments traversing its waters en route to Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, the recent attacks by Houthi rebels in the waters around Yemen have forced shipping companies to take a cautious approach, opting for the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.

car shipping prices

New Detour Expenses

This detour, while safer, comes at a hefty price. The additional distance of up to 8,000 nautical miles translates to increased fuel consumption, operational costs, and longer transit times. These factors have all contributed to a surge in car shipping prices, estimated to be anywhere between 40% and 60% higher than pre-conflict levels.

Export Impact

The inflated shipping costs are directly impacting car dealerships, squeezing their margins and potentially affecting the final price paid by consumers. With rising costs cutting into profits, some dealerships may be forced to raise car prices to maintain financial stability. This could dampen consumer demand and hit the brakes on the automotive industry’s post-pandemic recovery.

car shipping prices

Future of Shipping

The future of car shipping prices in the Red Sea remains uncertain. The duration and intensity of the conflict will play a crucial role in determining when shipping companies feel comfortable returning to the traditional route. Until then, the longer voyage around the Cape remains the safer, albeit more expensive, option.

Updates From Shipping Companies

As the shipping companies reroute the vessels to a safer route, they have announced an increase in their prices.

  • Starting from 23 December 2023, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has increased the prices by up to USD 1500 per container from select destinations.
  • Starting from 20 December 2023, CMA CGM has also announced that shipping costs will increase by up to USD 2,100, depending on the container and route.
  • Starting from 1 January 2024, Maersk has increased shipping prices by up to USD 1,000, depending on the container and route.

Exporting a car can be complicated with legal hurdles, but DubiCars ExportSafe makes it easy, catering to over 90 countries. Click the link to connect with the ExportSafe team for a straightforward and transparent experience. You can also calculate the shipping costs using our shipping price calculator.


Tips To Tackle Rising Shipping Costs

With the Red Sea conflict driving up shipping costs, UAE traders need to adapt to navigate these choppy waters. Here are some tips to mitigate the increasing car shipping prices:

  • Lock in rates early: Secure shipping contracts with fixed rates before peak seasons like Ramadan and Eid to avoid further cost hikes.
  • Increase lead times: Order inventory earlier to accommodate extended transit times and avoid last-minute rush deliveries.
  • Shared shipments: Reduce the number of shipments by combining orders, maximizing container utilisation, and lowering per-unit costs.
  • Shipping insurance: Both parties involved in the shipping including customers can opt for the insurance, which adds another layer of security to your shipment.

All this could be overwhelming when you are waiting for your dream car to arrive at your destination. Explore multiple shipping providers to find the most cost-effective option. Alternatively, head to DubiCars ExportSafe to help you find the right shipping option for your needs.

The automotive industry is now navigating a choppy course, grappling with higher car shipping prices. While the current situation presents challenges, it also underscores the need for diplomatic solutions and de-escalation to keep vital trade routes flowing smoothly.

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