Logistics industry affected by political unrest

The growing political crisis between Lebanon and Israel has forced logistics companies to divert cargo from original routes.

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By  Robeel Haq Published  July 30, 2006

The growing political crisis between Lebanon and Israel has forced logistics companies to divert cargo from original routes, according to freight forwarders Expeditors. The recent Israeli bombings led to Lebanon closing all seaports, in addition to Beirut airport, which caused severe disruption to several companies in the regional logistics industry. Expeditors confirmed it has started contacting clients directly to provide regular updates on the status of their cargo. In addition, customers with shipments transiting the region are being encouraged to remain in contact with their local Expeditors office for assistance in developing and executing alternative plans for affected shipments. DHL Global Forwarding has also reported a large backlog of cargo in customs warehouses following the bombings. The company managed to clear 95% of its seafreight shipments, but only cleared 10% on the airfreight side, due to increased security constraints at Beirut International Airport. In response, DHL attempted to establish alternative routes by road for seafreight exports and imports. The situation has also created some difficulties in delivering humanitarian aid to Lebanon. Following the bombings, Aramex launched a UAE-wide relief campaign to collect aid material from designated stations and managed to deliver these to Lebanese relief agencies. Items such as medical supplies, packaged food and personal hygiene products were transported. Meanwhile, according to Transport Intelligence, the logistics operations in Israel seem largely unaffected. Airfreight activities, both for exports and imports, are fully operational. The Israeli port of Haifa was temporarily closed on 16th July, but was back to normal on 17th July, despite rocket attacked continuing from Southern Lebanon.

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