Swedish flatpack furniture giant Ikea says that rerouting cargo shops around Africa to avoid possible attacks in the Red Sea could lead to delivery delays and even empty shelves.
A recent wave of missile and drone strikes on passing container ships by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels has prompted many vessels to avoid using the Red Sea and Suez Canal, a chokepoint for about 10 percent of global trade.
Traveling instead around Africa can add a week to travel between Asia and Europe, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel costs.
“The situation in the Suez Canal will result in delays and may cause availability constraints for certain IKEA products,” Ikea tells AFP in an email.
Around 20,000 ships pass through the Suez Canal every year.
Ikea says it was in close contact with its transporters and that the safety of their teams was the top priority.
“In the meantime, we are evaluating other supply options to secure the availability of our products, and we continue to monitor the situation closely going forward,” the company adds.