Supply Delays Continue as Shipping Companies Reroute Away from Red Sea

( – Major shipping companies are rerouting traffic away from the Suez Canal and Red Sea after a series of Yemen-based Houthi attacks have made travel through the region dangerous.

The Houthi militants are allegedly carrying out the attacks in retaliation for Israeli strikes in Gaza and are backed by the Iranians.

U.S. Navy vessels have responded by increasing their presence and patrols in the area, demonstrating how delicate international trade can be at key transit hubs.

Evergreen Line and Hapag-Lloyd are two major firms continuing to route traffic away from the area, according to CNN. A spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd said they believed the situation was “too dangerous” and will reassess on a weekly basis. They’re routing their vessels around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope in the meantime, a significantly longer journey that has its own perils.

Evergreen Line issued a statement on December 18th that conveyed their instructions to their vessels to avoid the Red Sea “until further notice.”

Most other shippers have resumed traffic as normal after the increased U.S. naval response. Danish company Maersk indicated they planned to resume operations in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden thanks to Operation Prosperity Guardian.

The initiative is led by the U.S. but involves naval assets of numerous other western nations.

The area under protection of the fleet accounts for roughly 15-30% of global traffic on a daily basis.

Forecasters are expecting the disruption to increase the costs of shipping products to and from the area. All major firms continuing to transit the Suez have announced increased costs associated with the security issues.

Hapag-Lloyd announced an “Emergency Revenue Charge” for cargo traveling through the region for the last two weeks of December. The costs varied depending on the size of the container and route traveled.

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