Home Business News Sainsbury’s has held ‘regular calls’ with Downing Street over shipment delays amid attacks in the Red Sea

Sainsbury’s has held ‘regular calls’ with Downing Street over shipment delays amid attacks in the Red Sea

10th Jan 24 12:33 pm

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s has held “regular calls” with Downing Street over potential disruptions for shipping in the Red Sea following drone attacks by the Iranian backed Houthi militants based in Yemen.

Roberts said that shipments of general merchandise and wine are facing delayed journeys as shipping containers are now going around the Cape of Good Hope making the travel time up to two weeks longer.

Shipping has been diverted from the Suez Canal and the Red Sea due to the attacks by Houthis rebels and this is adding to longer journey times.

Roberts said, “Through the last three or four weeks our team have spent time working out how to get the impact to an absolute minimum.

“The vast majority of container ships are instead going around the Cape of Good Hope which is making journeys 10 to 14 days longer.

“We are working on our sequencing of orders to ensure we always have good availability in product areas which can travel through these routes, such as general merchandise and wine.

“Getting products from across the world is an important issue for the Government, so we are on regular calls to make sure we have the latest intel and understand the potential impacts.”

The British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has said that the Houthis militants have launched their largest attack to date in the Red Sea.

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond destroyed “attack drones” in the Red Sea and the US Central Command said it was a “complex attack” which involved 18 drones, anti-ship ballistic missiles and two anti-ship cruise missiles.

The British Defence Secretary said on X, “Overnight, HMS Diamond, along with US warships, successfully repelled the largest attack from the Iranian-backed Houthis in the Red Sea to date.

“Deploying Sea Viper missiles and guns, Diamond destroyed multiple attack drones heading for her and commercial shipping in the area, with no injuries or damage sustained to Diamond or her crew.

“The UK alongside allies have previously made clear that these illegal attacks are completely unacceptable and if continued the Houthis will bear the consequences.

“We will take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy.”

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