More than half of UK retailers affected by Houthi disruption, survey shows

More than half of UK retailers and exporters have been affected by the disruption to Red Sea trade from Houthi rebel attacks on cargo ships, research by a leading business lobby group suggests. The price of shipping a container from Asia to Europe has gone up by as much as 300% for some businesses, while logistical delays have added up to three to four weeks to delivery times, according to the survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The delays are creating knock-on effects, such as cashflow difficulties and component shortages on production lines, according to participants in the BCC poll of more than 1,000 companies, most of which were small- and medium-sized businesses. The Iran-backed Houthis who control much of north-western Yemen have been attacking merchant vessels in the region since November in what they say is a show of support for Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The US and the UK have responded with their own strikes to protect international shipping on the route, carrying out the latest air assaults against 18 Houthi targets in Yemen this weekend, including weapons storage facilities, and the disruption shows no sign of ending. William Bain,...

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