3 Popular Brands at Risk of ‘Red Sea’ Shortages or Price Hikes


  • Ongoing Red Sea conflicts are heating up, leading to supply chain issues and the potential for price hikes.
  • Consumers, investors and the general public have a vested stake in knowing what’s happening.
  • Here are three companies that could be most affected by these geopolitical issues.
Red Sea crisis - 3 Popular Brands at Risk of ‘Red Sea’ Shortages or Price Hikes

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Recent Red Sea diversions triggered a prolonged energy market impact. Despite U.S. and ally strikes on Houthi rebels, experts predict a months-long crisis causing a cargo container shortage. Houthi attacks persist, intensifying after U.S. and U.K. strikes on January 11. 

Red Sea conflict hampers ocean shipping, diverting carriers from the Suez Canal. Rates surge, impacting companies like Ikea and BDI Furniture, prompting supply route evaluations. Ikea anticipates delays and constraints, while BDI Furniture shifted to Turkish and Vietnamese factories, facing low stocks in specific furniture categories.

Oil prices surged 4%, followed by U.S. sanctions on two companies linked to financing shipments benefiting Houthis. The Red Sea conflict marks the most significant shipping disruption since COVID-19, jeopardizing global supply chains.

The attacks disrupted the Suez Canal, impacting 12% to 15% of global trade. Container rates quadrupled, causing two-week delays. Industries, including international retailers and car manufacturers, feel the impact. Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analysts note diversified sourcing as a hedge against the Red Sea crisis; a strategy echoed elsewhere.

While there could be more companies joining in the coming weeks, here are three popular brands and companies that were first to be impacted by the said disruption.

Tesla (TSLA)

While many may have thought Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) couldn’t possibly see more headwinds materialize, the disorder in the Red Sea might have made things much worse for Elon Musk’s most prided brand.

Due to Red Sea missile attacks, Tesla halted activities at its Berlin Gigafactory, anticipating supply chain disruptions. The crisis, initiated by Houthi rebels targeting merchant vessels, has been ongoing since December. These Red Sea conflicts altered shipping routes, affecting global trade, which was down 1.3% in December 2023. Tesla noted the Grünheide production impact was due to the longer Cape of Good Hope route, causing supply chain gaps.

During the Red Sea attacks, Tesla paused Berlin-Brandenburg production (from Jan 29 to Feb 11). Its current facility employs 11,000 people and produces about 250,000 EVs every year. Major shipping firms diverted from the Red Sea, elongating Asia-Europe transport. Tesla, the first to halt due to attacks, preceded Geely (OTCMKTS:GELYF) and Ikea’s delivery warnings. The U.S., U.K. and allies are targeting Houthi positions, but the group vows to persist with shipping attacks.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s (OTCMKTS:HRGLF) Susannah Streeter noted Berlin’s pause as a setback to Tesla’s production goals, coinciding with intense competition from Chinese manufacturers. Geely, the China-based automotive giant with Volvo and Lotus, also anticipates delays in European EV deliveries.

Container rates surge as vessels bypass Suez Canal, heightening supply chain concerns for global goods. Red Sea conflicts disrupt transport, impacting Gruenheide production and causing supply chain gaps for Tesla’s European electric vehicle assembly.

BP (BP) and Shell (SHEL)

Oil companies are also affected by the Red Sea’s situation right now and Shell (NYSE:SHEL) and BP (NYSE:BP) are at the top of the vast list.

Shell halted Red Sea shipments amid escalating turmoil following a Houthi attack on a Shell-chartered tanker. The U.K. oil major with a global energy delivery fleet of 28 vessels, including 20 LNG carriers, stopped all Red Sea shipments indefinitely. The U.S. urged ships to avoid the Red Sea after Houthi strikes. The Houthis’ disruptions in the Red Sea have led to increased shipping costs as oil tankers diverted around the Cape of Good Hope.

Major shipping firms, including Maersk and Cosco (OTCMKTS:CICOY), suspended trips. Analysts estimate over $280 billion in goods diverted, with longer Cape of Good Hope routes increasing mileage and costs. Oil prices surged amid rising tensions, posing risks to the global economy.

Further Updates on the Red Sea Situation

Over 100 container ships diverted south of Africa due to Red Sea Houthi attacks, causing added costs and delays. Ikea anticipates shortages and shipment delays, exploring air or rail alternatives amid safety concerns in collaboration with transportation partners.

Danone’s (OTCMKTS:DANOY) extended transit times and is considering alternate sea or land routes if attacks persist. Electrolux (OTCMKTS:ELUXY) anticipates limited deliveries and is also exploring alternative routes and prioritizing shipments. Lastly, Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) is exploring costlier air freight to avoid disruptions and has informed its suppliers about this.

Thus, this list is much longer than just three companies, and investors are starting to take note, particularly in key affected industries.

Bottom Line: There Will Be Ripple Effects

Retailers anticipate price hikes due to shipping delays and increased costs, adding to inflation concerns. Oil price fluctuations compound uncertainty over global supply security and demand. High-street brands like Lidl, Ikea and Geely diverted vessels around Africa, anticipating delays and potential availability constraints.

We’re all living in a global supply chain, and any sort of blockage of goods getting from one part of the world to another safely will impact us all. The recent news is troubling on its own. But when we factor in the economic impacts of this ongoing conflict, the costs begin to really mount.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/01/3-popular-brands-at-risk-of-red-sea-shortages-or-price-hikes/.

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