Since Friday, 15th of December 2023, several vessels in the Red Sea and its approaches have come under attack from shore-based installations in Yemen.
Major International containerised Shipping Lines, including MSC, CMA CGM, Maersk, and Hapag Lloyd have announced a suspension of movements of all their ships through the Bab-al Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
Although this predominantly affects ships serving the Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean routes, recent experience has shown there will be serious impacts in other regions if the situation escalates or lasts for a prolonged period.
Paul Zalai, the Director of Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Secretariat of the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA), says the withdrawal of vessel services from the route will mean their diversion via the Cape of Good Hope “This will add about 10 days to transit times and estimated arrival dates in North Europe and Mediterranean ports”.
Additionally, Zalai points to the National DP World Container Terminal disruption, “The timing could not be worse as vessel scheduling due to industrial action is already chaotic to and from Australia – the latest global events will further compound the complexity of international trade leaving exporters and importers with a lack of reliable access to and from markets well into the New Year.”
The International Shipping lines have provided assurance that their teams are monitoring the situation constantly and retrieving all available intelligence on the security situation in the area. They expect to share more information about any next steps for these paused vessels within the next few days.
Should you have any further questions or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us at Gava Australia