Demand Precise Location Tracking and Choose Optimal Alternatives Amid Red Sea Crisis

Apr 17, 2024Press Releases

GOPET invests in a tracking system with three independent sources to enhance shipment predictability

In light of the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea, ensuring accurate location tracking of goods and selecting optimal alternative routes are essential for effective business planning. This was emphasized by Ognyan Duchev, head of the Sea& Air Division at GOPET TRANS, a leading company in the transport and logistics sector.

Due to the continued Houthi attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, businesses faced severe challenges for months. The insurgent attacks have disrupted international trade through the Suez Canal, which is crucial for global transportation traffic. The crisis forced vessels to detour around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, further extending journeys by thousands of miles, doubling delivery costs, and causing serious delays.

Investment in a new shipment tracking system

To provide customers with the necessary tools to successfully navigate challenges, GOPET TRANS is investing in an innovative shipment tracking system. It compares information on the location of shipments simultaneously from three independent sources – the shipping company, satellite data, and information from the port itself. This enables GOPET to provide clear estimates of delivery arrival times and service prices.

“Sometimes, vessels detouring Africa, instead of entering the Mediterranean Sea, continue on to the Netherlands and Germany due to major shipping companies’ greater interest in these regions. However, this leads to significant unplanned delays. We advise our clients to constantly seek the best tracking methods, demand and receive updated information weekly, and explore every possible alternative solution to support their business. Our new tracking system enhances security and predictability for our clients,” added Ognyan Duchev.

Alternative routes and solutions

In this extremely complex situation, GOPET TRANS offers its clients additional alternative routes, including truck routes from China through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as options via train through Poland and Hungary.

“Although relatively limited in number, these options are excellent solutions. They are considerably more cost-effective than air transport and are suitable for shipments that are sensitive to transit time. However, it’s important to consider that rail or truck transport is more expensive than maritime transport. That’s why we always advise companies to carefully assess the urgency of their shipments. When they can afford to wait longer, we recommend choosing sea transport, which remains preferred,” said Duchev.

Of course, there’s also the alternative of air transport, but there hasn’t been a significant change in orders following the crisis in the Red Sea. It remains a last resort because it costs 15-20 times more than sea transport. Additionally, large cargo planes from Asia do not land in Sofia; they typically land in Germany, Belgium, or Hungary. This option is primarily used when clients’ businesses involve high-value shipments, perishable or temperature-sensitive cargo, or face serious production shutdown threats with no other alternatives available. Due to the smaller capacity of airplanes to Sofia and the limited pool of airlines, air corridors pass through major European airports. This allows for cost reduction or minimization of delivery time because we utilize combinations of different land setups from our service portfolio,” further commented Ognyan Duchev.

Inflation and additional delays

In the coming months, an increased risk of an inflationary shock is expected, as delays and additional costs and fees increase. Currently, shipping companies operating the transit around Africa play a dominant role, imposing higher freight charges. For comparison, pre-crisis freight prices ranged from $1,500 to $2,000, whereas now they are around $3,500 to $4,000, representing a doubling. Delays have also increased by an additional 15-30 days. In comparison, if the business could previously count on average planning in a period of about 1-2 months, now it is necessary to anticipate twice as much time. This puts customers in a difficult position, especially those relying on their inventories or dependent on product durability. Given the current context, there is a tendency towards a slight increase in orders, because companies are afraid of running out of stock. Therefore, they actively seek alternative solutions and larger quantities. Clients want to rely on more reserves of certain durable goods to operate smoothly over the coming months,” further commented the executive.

“The outlook isn’t very positive, but we all hope that solutions will be found to overcome the crisis, and the conflict in the Suez Canal will be resolved as quickly as possible, so we can return to normal functioning of transportation routes,” concluded Ognyan Duchev.


Founded in 1995 in Sofia, GOPET TRANS started as a freight forwarder, later evolving into a “one-stop shop” provider of transportation and logistics services. The company’s activities are driven by its vision, with a focus on the customer and the dedication of its experienced team of professionals. Today, GOPET TRANS is a leading provider of transportation and logistics services in Bulgaria and a key regional player, with a strong local presence and active operations in Greece, Romania, Poland, Spain, and since 2020, Turkiye. It provides high-quality services to over 5,000 Bulgarian and international companies of various sizes and from different industries. The company offers freight forwarding solutions (road transport) with wide coverage in Europe and regular transportation to Turkey and the Middle East; intermodal transport connecting Southern and Western Europe; maritime and air transport with global coverage; as well as comprehensive logistics, warehouse, and distribution solutions for Bulgaria and Greece. The GOPET TRANS team numbers around 400 employees, half of whom are based in Bulgaria. The company’s expansion plans are geared towards further diversification of offered services and achieving greater flexibility through continuous digitization. The management’s business philosophy is focused on providing solutions to support clients’ businesses. By supporting clients and partners in their development, GOPET TRANS achieves sustainable growth.