Hammond says global supply chain helping battery firms navigate trade turmoil

Hammond says global supply chain helping battery firms navigate trade turmoil

Hammond says global supply chain helping battery firms navigate trade turmoil 1000 562 Batteries International

January 25, 2024: The Hammond Group has urged battery manufacturers to check the reliability of their supply chains as two key global trade arteries are hit by major disruptions.

Escalating attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and persistent Panama Canal shipping delays as a result of drought are causing turmoil for industries and ramping up costs.

In an exclusive article in the latest edition of Batteries International magazine — online now — Hammond says international trade needs to learn a lot from the strong global supply chain it has established to support the lead battery industry.

While delivery prices are rising and firms are being forced to rethink production schedules, Hammond says its facilities across North America, Europe and Asia make it an invaluable and reliable link in the supply chain.

Data analyst firm Sea-Intelligence said on January 18 that shipping disruption in the Red Sea was already more damaging to the supply chain than the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oil giants Shell and BP have already introduced temporary suspensions of shipments through the Red Sea, along with major shipping companies Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and COSCO.

Meanwhile, Tesla announced it would largely suspend production of EVs at its new Berlin-Brandenburg plant in Germany up to February 11 because of a lack of components as a result of supply chain disruptions.

The auto giant cited problems caused by ships under attack in the Red Sea while en route to the Suez Canal and associated shifts in transport routes between Europe and Asia via the Cape of Good Hope.

Meanwhile, the Panama Canal Authority has restricted the number of shipments through the vital trade waterway to 24 daily as of January 16, compared to 36 vessels a day before restrictions introduced in 2023 — the driest year in the region’s history.

Earlier this month, some ships queuing to pass through the canal had to wait 11 days.

Hammond says it want to highlight how its strategically-located plant in Malaysia is helping mitigate supply chain risks for Asian battery manufacturers, while other US producers of material for the lead battery sector remain reliant on the canal.

Hammond’s Kuala Lumpur plant manufactures expanders and its SureCure TTBLS products, serving an extensive Asia Pacific customer base. Asian firms sourcing the Malaysia operation also avoid inter-country regional tariffs, Hammond says.

The company’s UK facility offers an additional link for the battery supply chains into Europe and the Middle East.

Photo: Panama Canal Authority