© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen stacked on the CMA CGM container ship Benjamin Franklin at the port of Antwerp, Belgium September 23, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
(Reuters) – Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on ships in the Red Sea to show support for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fighting Israel in Gaza.
The attacks, targeting a route that allows East-West trade, particularly oil, to use the Suez Canal to save the time and expense of circumnavigating Africa, have prompted some shipping companies to reroute their ships at the beginning of December.
Below are companies’ reactions (in alphabetical order) to the situation in the Red Sea:
The global logistics group said Dec. 22 that it had rerouted more than 25 ships around the Cape of Good Hope over the past week, and that number was likely to continue to rise.
“Blank sailings and rate increases are expected to continue on many exchanges until the first quarter of 2024,” it adds.
The French shipping group plans a gradual increase in the number of ships transiting the Suez Canal, it said on December 26. “This decision is based on a thorough assessment of the security landscape and our commitment to vessel safety and security. our sailors,” CMA CGM said in a statement.
The company had already rerouted several ships via the Cape of Good Hope.
The Belgian oil company announced on December 18 that it would avoid the Red Sea area until further notice.
Taiwan’s container shipping line said on Dec. 18 that its ships providing regional services to Red Sea ports would sail to nearby safe waters and await further notification, while ships needing to cross the Red Sea would be diverted around the Cape of Good Hope. It also temporarily stopped accepting Israeli goods.
The Norway-based oil group said on December 18 that its ships would avoid passages through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
GRAM CAR CARRIER
The Norwegian shipping company, which specializes in car and truck carriers, said on December 21 that its ships were prohibited from crossing the Red Sea.
The German container shipping company told Reuters on December 29 that it had decided to continue diverting its ships around the Suez Canal for security reasons. He added that the next assessment would be carried out on January 2.
A projectile believed to be a drone hit one of its ships sailing near the coast of Yemen on December 15. No crew was injured.
The South Korean container carrier announced on December 19 that it had ordered its ships from Europe that would normally pass through the Suez Canal to reroute via the Cape of Good Hope for an indefinite period starting on December 15. December.
The Norwegian shipping company announced on December 20 that it would stop transit through the Red Sea after the Norwegian maritime authority raised its alert for the southern part of the sea to the highest level.
KLAVENESS COMBINED TRANSPORTERS
The Norway-based fleet operator said on December 28 that any of its vessels were unlikely to sail in the Red Sea unless the situation improved.
The Danish shipping group announced on December 31 that it was suspending all shipping in the Red Sea for 48 hours, after Houthi militants attacked the container ship Maersk Hangzhou with missiles and small boats.
On December 27, it planned for several dozen container ships to transit the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the days and weeks to come.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said on December 16 that its ships would not transit the Suez Canal, with some already rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope, a day after two ballistic missiles were fired at its ship.
OCEAN EXPRESS NETWORK
Ocean Network Express (ONE), a joint venture of Japanese companies Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, announced on December 19 that it would divert ships from the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Instead, its ships will either round the Cape of Good Hope or temporarily halt their journey and head to safe areas.
The Hong Kong-based container group said on Dec. 21 that it had advised its ships to either divert their route or suspend sailing to the Red Sea. The company, owned by Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, has also suspended the acceptance of goods to and from Israel until further notice.
OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen
Japan’s largest shipping companies said their ships with connections to Israel were avoiding the Red Sea area. Both companies also said they were monitoring the situation.
The Norwegian shipping group announced on December 19 that it would suspend transits on the Red Sea until further notice. Rerouting ships via the Cape of Good Hope will add one to two weeks to journey times, he said.
MARITIME TRANSPORT YANG MING
The Taiwanese container shipping company announced on December 18 that it would divert ships sailing in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden via the Cape of Good Hope for the next two weeks.