Sudan: Carriers suspend cargo bookings

Ocean carriers, including Maersk and Hapag Lloyd, have halted new bookings to and from Sudan in the midst of the armed conflict that erupted on April 15. Air cargo traffic has halted, as the epicenter of the current conflict is in Khartoum, the country’s capital and major air passenger and freight hub. As evidenced by the war in Ukraine, armed conflicts expose and exacerbate supply chain vulnerabilities. Sudan produces roughly 70% of the world’s supply of gum arabic, a key ingredient in a range of consumer products from soft drinks to performance bars and cosmetics. FMCG companies had built up safety stocks to mitigate the known political risks in Sudan; however, the intensity of the current conflict, at the heart of the country, poses a long-term supply threat to this commodity for which substitutes do not exist for certain products, like fizzy beverages.