Ikea warned of delays on some products due to the mass diversion of shipping containers from the Red Sea over safety concerns.
“The situation in the Suez Canal will result in delays and may cause availability constraints for certain IKEA products,” a spokesperson said by email Thursday.
They added that the safety of staff working in its supply chain was its priority, and it was evaluating other options to secure the availability of products. Ikea does not have its own container vessels but uses external operators.
At least $80 billion worth of cargo has already been diverted from the waterway which provides access to Egypt’s Suez Canal, the quickest passage between Europe and Asia, due to a wave of drone and missile attacks by Yemen-based Houthi militants.
Sweden’s Electrolux, the world’s largest appliance company, has set up a task force to find alternative routes and identify priority deliveries, Reuters reported.
Shipping giants Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM are among those to have confirmed this week they will begin diverting ships already in transit around the longer Cape of Good Hope route along the south of Africa as the attacks continue.
Clerc added that it was unclear how quickly firms would see the impact from a new U.S.-led task force, which is seeing advanced air-defense military ships from countries including the U.K. and Italy head to the area.
Europe is set to have the biggest impact from the delays due to its strong trade ties with Asia, and because cargo bound for the Americas can travel via the Pacific.