Red Sea attacks start to impact on imports

You no doubt will have seen reports in the press and elsewhere about the impact that the attacks on international shipping by the Houthis operating from Yemen, are starting to have.

We are being told by the shipping lines that it is likely that Asia-Europe ocean freight could be subjected to delays, low capacity, and equipment shortages for some time.

As the UKs largest importer of teak garden furniture (by volume shipped) this is a concern for us. Already we have seen expected UK docking dates for containers we have in transit, being pushed back and back again. In addition, the global price for shipping containers has jumped by more than 300 per cent since November 2023 because of the chaos which has forced many companies to reroute to lengthier and far more costly shipping lanes.

Kingsley Smythe warehouses are fully stocked

However, through prudent planning and experience (we have been supplying teak garden furniture for many years) Kingsley Smythe is very well stocked, with even more product already in transit. This means that we are not expecting to suffer any significant stock shortages this year.

We are in the fortunate position of having ordered extra stock early, so we have a lot of garden furniture arriving at the end of February/early March, which is typically when the season starts in earnest for us. We are not sure about other suppliers though.

The latest information we have been given from our logistics partner is that transit times now, from Indonesia to the UK are likely to be 3 months or longer. Companies caught with low stocks will now really struggle to get furniture into the UK before the summer starts and we expect they will have to put their prices up to cover the massive increase in container costs.

Our Advice

Our advice now to anyone thinking of buying garden furniture for this spring/summer would be to place their order as early as possible and before doing that check that their chosen retailer (if it isn’t Kingsley Smythe!) actually does have enough stock to fulfil the order. Doing this should avoid the disappointment of delayed or cancelled deliveries.

Or you can just buy from us and relax in the knowledge that we can deliver it when you want it.

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