Qatar crisis: Supply chains evolve

One week ago today the UAE and eight other Arab nations cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, over the latter’s suspected support of terrorist groups, blocking all flight and ship departures from their airports and seaports, bound for the Qatar peninsular.

Most Qatari sea freight calls were previously done from Jebel Ali in Dubai, but this has now been banned.

Dubai operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company confirmed the ban on all Qatar-flagged vessels; all those departing to and arriving from Qatar, regardless of flag; and all vessels loaded with freight destined for or leaving Qatar, including transiting cargo.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have similar bans in place.

Doha is on two deepsea services – the Ocean Alliance’s MEA2 and MSC’s Falcon – which call at Dubai and the Saudi port of

While Cosco released a customer advisory last week that it had stopped taking goods to Doha, Maersk Line announced a new feeder service connecting Salalah in Oman with Qatar.

The feeder route, which will run every 10 days, has its first sailing ex-Salalah due on 19 June and is set to arrive in Doha on 25 June. It is open for all bookings though priority will be given to ‘on water’ cargo due to limited space.

“Booking acceptance for cargo to/from Qatar is open for all countries except UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen in compliance with the government guidelines,” Maersk said.

Milaha, Qatar’s shipping line, will launch a service between Hamad Port in Doha to Sohar Port in Oman, one of few nearby nations not to cut links with Qatar. The new service will run three times a week.

In the skies Emirates, Etihad, Saudia, Gulf Airways, flyDubai and Air Arabia will not accept any business terminating at Doha and Qatar Airways is unable to fly to the countries that have shut their airspace to it, which is likely to result in longer flight times and higher fuel bills.30966AA300000578-0-image-a-22_1453808461908

On June 3, Qatar Airways’ launched a new weekly Airbus A330 freighter service, which returns to Doha via Basel, boosting the carrier’s weekly UK cargo capacity to over 1,500 tonnes.

It also operates freighters to Stansted and transports airfreight on its passenger flights to and from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Heathrow and Manchester.

Its services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and the Kingdom of Bahrain are suspended and its offices in Dubai, Sharjah and Riyadh have been closed.