Red Sea Shipping Update 5th Jan 2023

Maersk has announced that it will be redirecting all its vessels away from Red Sea routes around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future.

This decision comes in response to increased attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on vessels in the Gulf region, who are showing their support for Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fighting Israel in Gaza.

Shippers around the world are avoiding the Red Sea due to the fear of further attacks and the resulting disruption. However, taking the longer route around Africa adds around 10 days to journey times and incurs higher fuel and crew costs.

Maersk had initially paused all vessels bound for the Red Sea after one of its ships was attacked by Houthi militants and has since begun redirecting ships around Africa.

This will affect all of our shipments that have not yet passed through the Red Sea. It will also impact shipments into January and beyond due to delays and return journeys of ships to Asian ports. We expect shipping costs to rise off the back of this as we have seen that Drewry’s World Container Index increased by 61% to $2,670 per 40-ft container this week.

Contact us for updates; however, our information may not be up-to-date as we rely on information provided by the shipping lines.

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