Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk have announced an emergency suspension of the Red Sea route.
This decision comes after a Maersk container ship was attacked by Houthi militants in the Red Sea. On December 15th, another Hapag-Lloyd container ship, the “Al Jasrah,” was also attacked in the Strait of Mandeb, which connects the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. The attack resulted in a fire on the deck and the loss of a container, but no crew members were injured.
The “Al Jasrah” has a capacity of 15,000 TEUs and operates on the Asia-Mediterranean MD2 route. It is reported that the vessel has no connection to Israel, and the MD2 route does not include Israeli ports.
A spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd emphasized, “We will take additional measures to ensure the safety of our crew and will suspend all routes through the Red Sea until next Monday, with further decisions to follow.” Maersk has also made the same decision.
A spokesperson for Maersk stated, “Following the attacks on several container ships, including the ‘Maersk Gibraltar,’ we have requested all Maersk vessels passing through the Strait of Mandeb in the region to suspend their operations until further notice.”
The spokesperson further added, “Ensuring the safety of our crew is of utmost importance. The current issues cannot be resolved by the shipping industry alone, and we urge the international community to unite and find a solution to control the situation.”
In response to the frequent attacks on merchant ships by Houthi militants, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has urgently called for concerted efforts from influential countries in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea region to stop the attacks on seafarers and commercial vessels, as well as to alleviate the severe threat posed to international trade.
The ICS expressed deep concern within the industry regarding these attacks on vessels. Some ships have already opted to reroute via the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the attacks, which increases costs and transit times for global trade.
Peter Sand, Chief Analyst at Xeneta, analyzed that all ships passing through the Suez Canal must traverse the Red Sea. If the attacks on commercial vessels continue, it could have severe consequences for the global supply chain.
“I do not believe the Suez Canal will be closed, but if the situation escalates further, we cannot rule out that possibility. Even if the Suez Canal is closed for just a few days, the global supply chain will be thrown into chaos, and the shipping industry will suffer unprecedented damage,” he warned.
The above is a report on the suspension of the Red Sea route by Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk.