Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, and MSC end operations in the Red Sea

Discover the Red Sea maritime crisis as shipping giants reroute vessels due to security threats from Yemeni rebels. Explore the impact on global trade routes, with a shift towards the Cape of Good Hope following recent attacks, raising safety concerns in the vital East-West shipping corridor.

The announcement from the Suez Canal Authority came after shipping companies announced that they would no longer use the Red Sea route due to the Yemeni rebels. Following Maersk and Hapag Lloyd’s decision to suspend container shipments through the busy trade route, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has also taken the same action. MSC stated that it will redesign the routes of certain services around the Cape of Good Hope. The Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen has been attacking ships in the Red Sea in recent weeks, a critical route for East-West trade, particularly for oil, which uses the Suez Canal to avoid additional time and expenses by circumnavigating Africa. MSC’s vessel, the MSC Palatium III, flying the Liberian flag, was attacked on Friday by an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait at the southern tip of the Red Sea, according to the Houthis. No injuries were reported, but the ship suffered some damages from the fire and was rendered inoperable, as reported by MSC. Another vessel, the Al Jasrah, flying the Liberian flag, was hit by a missile, which also caused a fire, according to the US military.

MSC, the world’s largest container shipping company, stated that it will redesign the routes of certain services around the Cape of Good Hope in the southern tip of Africa, increasing the days of sea travel for ships that had booked passage through the Suez Canal.

Additionally, French group CMA CGM announced that it would halt all container shipments through the Red Sea after the attacks on commercial vessels in the region.

“The situation is deteriorating further and concern for safety is increasing,” stated the group based in Marseille in a statement. “Therefore, we have decided to instruct all CMA CGM container ships in the region scheduled to pass through the Red Sea to reach safe areas and halt their journey in secure waters with immediate effect until further notice,” they concluded.

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