India estimated to have suffered USD 30 billion in losses from Red Sea attacks, Panama Canal losses stack up

Shipping vessel in the Panama Canal

Attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea perpetrated by Houthi militia members have continued, causing heightened freight costs and extended delivery times.

India, in particular, is estimated to have suffered losses upward of approximately USD 30 billion (EUR 28 billion) in 2024, according to shipping logistics firm Container xChange. 

“Shipping companies are demanding more containers now as they avoid the Red Sea. Therefore, shipping companies and leasing companies have placed more than 750,000 20-foot equivalent units out of China in the last two months,” Container xChange CEO Christian Roeloffs said in a release.  

Elsewhere, following a drought which began in 2023, the Panama Canal continues to face challenges, with authorities implementing measures such as reducing ship crossings, resulting in financial repercussions for one of the most heavily utilized maritime passages in the world.

The average price of purchasing a 40-foot container in the U.S. has now decreased to USD 1,510 (EUR 1,410) from the USD 2,454 (EUR 2,291) recorded in January 2023, decreasing by 38 percent, according to Container xChange. 

Panama Canal administrators have projected losses ranging between USD 500 million (EUR 467 million) and USD 700 million (EUR 654 million) for 2024. This estimate marks an increase from the initial forecast, which had slated potential losses at USD 200 million (EUR 287 million), heightening concerns about the canal's economic stability in the face of unpredictable weather patterns as the rainy season approaches.

Nevertheless, on 17 January, Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez said that more efficient water management and rainfall have ensured that the water in the passage is high enough to allow for 24 ships to pass through daily until the end of April. 

Despite all of the issues, the U.S. imported the highest volume since 2017 of 20-foot equivalent units in January 2024, increasing 7.9 percent month over month, according to transportation data firm FreightWaves, and up 9.9 percent year over year.

Photo courtesy of Diego Grandi/Shutterstock 


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500