Several containerships have come under attack in the Bab el Mandeb, a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti, and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. As a result, leading carriers are putting some voyages on hold as the situation deteriorates.
Leading container lines Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have put a halt to voyages through the Red Sea following a string of attacks on shipping by Houthi forces on Friday.
Ships owned and operated by the lines, along with another operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co have either been struck or had close calls in recent days.
“Following the near-miss incident involving Maersk Gibraltar (IMO: 9739692) yesterday and yet another attack on a container vessel today, we have instructed all Maersk vessels in the area bound to pass through the Bab el Mandeb Strait to pause their journey until further notice,” a spokesman for Maersk told Lloyd’s List.
“Ensuring the safety of our employees is of the utmost importance and our number one priority in handling this challenging situation. We continue to closely monitor the situation, retrieving all available intelligence on the security situation in the area.
“We are committed to best possibly ensuring the stability of our customers’ supply chains, and we are working closely with all our logistics teams and are taking steps to minimise impacts to customers.”
The attack on Friday was on Hapag-Lloyd’s 15,000 teu Al Jasrah (IMO: 9732321), which was hit by an unknown object, thought to be a drone. This resulted in a fire on board, although there are no reported casualties.
PSA BDP is actively monitoring the security situation in the Red Sea. Beneficial cargo owners should anticipate approximately an extra 10+ days in transit time for any vessel that has to be re-routed from navigating the Suez Canal to sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. The alternative routings will also cause further delays on returning back to their origins leading to more schedule changes by the carriers.
If you have any questions on specific shipments, please reach out to your local PSA BDP representative.