The impact of Regional Conflicts on India's Economy - Broekman Logistics

The High Seas of Trade: The Impact of Regional Conflicts on India’s Economy


This blog provides a comprehensive overview of the current crisis’s direct impact on India and broader global trade implications, underscoring the critical nature of these maritime chokepoints.

In the complex web of global trade, escalating conflicts in the Middle East and ongoing tensions in the Red Sea pose serious challenges to economies worldwide, including India. With increasing tensions between Israel and Iran, and heightened risk in the Red Sea, India’s strategic reliance on oil imports from these regions, particularly through the Strait of Hormuz, places it in a precarious position.

The Strait of Hormuz and Red Sea: Crucial Passages at Risk

The Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for global energy security, manages two-thirds of India’s oil and half its liquefied natural gas supplies. Recent direct confrontations between Israel and Iran threaten to disrupt this crucial chokepoint, with potential severe repercussions for India’s energy supplies, driving inflation and forcing sustained high interest rates. Simultaneously, the Red Sea crisis, exacerbated by Houthi attacks at the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, complicates the situation further. These conflicts have led to increased freight and insurance costs, extended transit times, and necessitated the rerouting of shipments via the Cape of Good Hope, spiralling into significant economic challenges.

Organisations are responding by adopting innovative logistics solutions. Sandeep Tyagi, Marketing/Sales & Global Networks at Broekman Logistics India Pvt Ltd., mentions: “At Broekman Logistics we use such as real-time tracking systems to dynamically adjust shipping routes for our partners. This allows them to make decisions on the mode of transportation and decide when and from where to transport their cargo safe but still efficient.”

Economic Fallout: From Fuel to Fields

The stakes for India are particularly high. Prolonged disruptions in these waterways threaten not only the fuel supply but also the broader industrial base due to rising operational costs. The surge in freight rates heavily impacts Indian exporters, reducing the global competitiveness of sectors like agriculture, textiles, and handicrafts, as Western markets seek more reliable and cost-effective suppliers.

Key Impacts on Indian Trade:

  1. Freight Rates Surge: Extended transit times have doubled freight costs for products like rice, severely affecting small businesses dependent on cost-effective shipping solutions.
  2. Eroded Competitiveness: Indian exporters across various sectors face diminished competitiveness due to increased costs and extended service times, pushing buyers towards alternative sources.
  3. Severe Delays in Transit Times: These delays disrupt ongoing projects across Asia and Europe, causing substantial logistical headaches.
  4. Limited Freight and Space: The pivot from ocean to air freight has left cargo flights between India and Europe fully booked, complicating logistics further at both departure and arrival points.

Challenges for Indian Organisations

Amidst a backdrop of escalating regional conflicts and the ongoing Red Sea crisis, Indian importers are facing a confluence of challenges that threaten the stability and efficiency of their supply chains. Here’s a closer look at the critical hurdles currently disrupting the flow of goods into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies:

  1. Essential Commodities Shortage: Disrupted supply chains have led to significant shortages of crucial commodities, such as fertilisers and fuel, inflating import costs and potentially driving higher inflation.
  2. Energy Tanker Scarcity: A shortage of energy tankers, spurred by increased maritime security risks, causes unpredictable price fluctuations and supply uncertainties.
  3. Dry Bulk Carrier Constraints: A critical shortage of carriers for key raw materials like coal and iron disrupts India’s industrial sectors.
  4. Extended Transit Times: Prolonged delays disrupt procurement plans, affecting schedules across various industries.

Strategic Responses and Looking Beyond

As these geopolitical events unfold, Indian businesses and policymakers must adapt swiftly. Sandeep Tyagi, Marketing/Sales & Global Networks at Broekman Logistics India Pvt Ltd.: “Steps such as diversifying supply chains, exploring alternative shipping routes, and negotiating better freight terms are essential to mitigate some of the adverse effects. And collaboration between industry stakeholders and international partners is also vital to navigate these challenges effectively.”

The ongoing geopolitical instability highlights the intricate link between political stability and economic prosperity. As India continues to navigate these turbulent waters, the resilience of its trade networks and the agility of its strategic responses will be crucial in ensuring economic stability and sustained growth.

At Broekman Logistics, we help our partners to navigate through uncertainty in supply chains. We leverage our local and global expertise and network of agents; we provide customised end-to-end supply chain solutions. We address the specific challenges faced by organisations in Europe and India due to these geopolitical tensions.

Contact our expert

Sandeep Tyagi

Vice President - Marketing/Sales & Global Networks
[email protected]

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