The newly identified Omicron Covid variant looks likely to reprise some of the issues which bedevilled shipping and logistics over the previous year, including:
- Logistics/supply chain lack of capacity;
- High container freight rates;
- Covid outbreaks on board vessels (the latest being the 12,600 TEU container ship Rome Express which had to divert where six crew were in urgent need of medical attention).
An additional twist, as reported today, is that vessels are apparently avoiding calling at Southern African ports to avoid the risk that they will be quarantined / delayed at later ports.
We continue to advise clients on their contractual position under pre-Covid and post-Covid contracts, as well as the incorporation of appropriate Covid clauses in future contracts.