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Major Shipping Firms Halt Red Sea Routes Following Houthi Attacks

  • A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S (Maersk) and Hapag-Lloyd stopped container ships from sailing through the Red Sea over the weekend, citing security concerns.
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company and French-based CMA CGM also halted their operations in the region following similar risks.
  • On Monday, BP, Evergreen, and Euronav all paused sailings through the Red Sea strait, bringing the total to seven.

The number of major shipping firms halting all commercial sailings through the highly trafficked Red Sea strait has increased to seven in response to missile and drone attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis. Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen and Belgian tanker owner Euronav are the latest additions to the list.

Energy giant BP Plc has also paused all tanker sailings through the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait due to Houthi militants. 

"In light of the deteriorating security situation for shipping in the Red Sea, BP has decided to temporarily pause all transits through the Red Sea," BP said in a statement.

Besides BP, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Company have all paused commercial vessel operations through the Red Sea that connects to Egypt's Suez Canal. 

Under fire

Spillover risks of the Israel-Hamas war are quickly building, as the Red Sea is responsible for 10% of the world's international trade. 

Over the weekend, US Central Command wrote in a post on X that the Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney shot down 14 Houthi drones in the Red Sea. 

On Monday morning, the UK Navy said it received a report of a possible explosion on the water about 30 miles south of Port Mokha, Yemen. 

The chaos has caused some shippers to divert vessels around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the conflict area. 

Shipping

The acceleration of de-globalization is leading to a surge of uncertainty along major global maritime routes. 

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 18 2023 said:
    With increasing attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and with many shipping lines avoiding the the Red Sea, this will seriously harm Israel’s international trade, cause a steep rise in shipping insurance and a disruption of oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Gulf region,

    It has also the ominous potential of total disruption of oil and gas shipments passing through the Strait of Hormuz,, a blocking of the Strait and also a wider war in the Middle East if Israel decides to retaliate against Iran and their allies in Yemen, the Houthis.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

Leave a comment




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