Cargo Backlogs Due to Poor Weather in Persian Gulf

A storm at sea
Updated Published

Unusually severe weather across the Persian Gulf has raised significant concerns for ocean and air freight stakeholders, further complicating supply chains already impacted by recent geopolitical tensions following the Iran-Israel conflict.

In Dubai, cargo agents and shipping industry insiders have observed considerable cargo delays and backlogs. It's estimated that it could take up to a week to resolve these issues and return operations to normal.

According to reports, several regional ports, including Jebel Ali, are experiencing berthing delays due to the adverse weather conditions.

A freight forwarder remarked, "Over-the-road freight movements continue to remain disrupted at many places." They added, "Authorities are working at a swift pace to clear up the affected road networks."

Meanwhile, sources from container lines report that major port terminals in the area are beginning to operate at near-normal levels. A senior executive from a large European container line commented, "Most of the port operations are up and running, but the flooding is leading to cargo delays."

The air freight sector has been particularly hard hit by the torrential rains and storms, described as the worst in the UAE in 75 years. Dubai Airport, the world's busiest hub, has experienced extensive flight cancellations and diversions over the past two days due to runway flooding.

As operations slowly resume, Air India managed to operate two flights from India yesterday, according to sources and Indian freight forwarder sources indicate that many airlines have yet to resume full cargo handling, anticipating that the backlogs will drive freight rates higher.

Reflecting an uptick in demand, many container lines serving the India-Middle East routes have recently announced rate increases, with an average of US$ 100 per TEU from West India to Jebel Ali.